2 Sep 2008

Fiji Road Safety Council calls for improved training for bus drivers

10:25 am on 2 September 2008

Fiji's National Road Safety Council says bus drivers need extra training to be able to better deal with emergencies.

Ten people died last Friday when a bus caught fire near the town of Sigatoka.

Among the dead were a pregnant woman and four children.

The interim government is proposing a new policy for buses to be inspected every six months and government agencies are developing a safety framework.

The council's executive director, Akapusi Tuifagalele, says many buses are over twenty years old and unsafe, and there need to be stricter measures.

Mr Tuifagalele says bus drivers also need to take more responsibility for the safety of the travelling public.

"Public service vehicle drivers need to be multi-skilled. Apart from being a driver he must be very councious on safety. He should be able to use for example fire extinguishers when there's a fire, he should be able to advise."

Akapusi Tuifagalele says the public should not be at the mercy of private bus operators.