25 Mar 2019

Samoa cracking down on street racers

2:27 pm on 25 March 2019

The Samoa government is to make street racing illegal, with an amendment to the Road Traffic Act.

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Photo: RNZI/ Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The Minister for Transport Papalii Niko Lee Hang, has told parliament the amendment to the 1960 act will criminalise car racing, and make it illegal to enhance a car's performance by adding parts.

He said public safety is the concern.

Earlier this year the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, threatened a law change following the death of a young driver whose speeding car hit a power pole.

Many members rose in support of the bill and some suggesting longer prison terms for racing drivers causing death and injury.

But a former Speaker of the house suggested legalising motor racing, as long as it is well organised.

Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt said while he supports the amendment for public safety, he said car racing can be organised and likened it to game fishing tournaments and horse racing.