‘Only in Samoa’ but it’s not funny

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

With the elections, politics and corruption dominating the headlines – and ultimately the main topic of conversations around the country this week – let’s take a breather for a bit today. 

It’s the weekend after all and the poor brains, ears and eyes for that matter deserve a break from the election battering and the ensuing madness that has gripped the nation. 

It’s only going to get worse over the next few days but it’s all par for the course at times like this.

Now, taking a quick glance at the past few editions of your newspaper, there has been a variety of interesting stories from the good, the bad and the ugly. 

But one of my favourite stories has got to be the ones about the buses and how their drivers act like they own the road. The story was published on the Thursday paper under the headline “Mindless and so careless”. 

Okay so the topic is still a bit serious for a weekend read but you’ve got to laugh otherwise you’ll lose your marbles. 

There is no doubt that all of us have all experienced this craziness one time or another in paradise.

Yes folks, it’s one of the most frustrating things about driving in Samoa. You’re cruising down the road nicely and all of a sudden the bus – or in some cases the taxi - in front of you stops dead in its tracks. 

The driver obviously is oblivious to the fact that there is a queue on his tail and a very angry driver in you. But he doesn’t care. He takes his sweet time, driving off only when he feels like it.

What’s even more frustrating is that he will repeat the exercise every so often.

Sound familiar? 

Yes?

Well welcome to Samoa. 

This is one of them experiences where we can appropriately apply the ‘only in Samoa’ tag. We say this because it’s only in Samoa where the bus will stop every five metres to drop off passengers? 

What’s worse is that the bus driver would not give a hoot in the world if the life of another motorist was placed at risk. He would simply collect his 50 sene pasese money and drive off as if its normal.

It’s not normal. This is criminal.

But then again, this is Samoa where it must be normal since they keep on doing it. Seriously, no one seems to care. 

These guys will do it in the villages, in Savai’i and even in Apia right in front of Police officers and L.T.A. officers who are supposed to monitor road rules. 

How many times have we seen a bus block one of the lanes on that four-lane road towards Malifa when the designated bus stop is only a meter away?

Where did these people come up with the idea that it is okay to do that? And why hasn’t a law enforcement officer told them that it is wrong?

The story I’m referring to by the way, talks about how this type of careless driving has led to people being late for work, school and getting home. 

What’s more, the constant breaking of the law gives the impression that no one really cares about the law in Samoa. 

So if the bus drivers – and taxi drivers for that matter - can break the law at all times, why should all other drivers bother to keep the law?

But there is a much more serious side to this. 

That is if these bus drivers continue to do this, one day someone will be killed. 

There will be a time when this sudden stopping in the middle of the road will result in an accident where an innocent member of the public will be hurt. 

Do we want this? 

Is this what law enforcement officers are waiting for?

The bottom line is that laws are meant to be respected and followed. 

And if bus stops are designated for buses to use, then make them do just that.

Let’s not allow this silly behaviour to continue because it’s not only frustrating for everyone – it poses a serious threat to the safety of people on the road. 

Can somebody with authority stop this? Please!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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