Let’s not wait until someone is killed

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

It wasn’t that long ago that a Tufuiopa resident, Tu’ifao Sauala, raised the alarm bells about changes that needed to be done to their road to improve safety in general.

The concerns were raised after three pick-up trucks plunged into the village pool having gone too fast and skidded off the main road, which is literally centimeters away.

It wasn’t always that risky for residents of the area, according to Tu’ifao. But at the time, the Government had just completed fixing the road so there was nothing stopping vehicles from speeding through back and forth. It got considerably worse during heavy downpours, which is when the vehicles ended up swimming in the village pool.

 “Luckily no one was swimming when the accidents occurred,” Tu’ifao said.

 “Otherwise it would have been a disaster. Are we going to wait for a tragic incident to happen in order to act accordingly?” 

Well the good news is that not long after Tu’ifao raised the alarm on the pages of your newspaper, the Government through the Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) responded. 

Today, if you travel through that road again, you will notice there are two speed humps that have made a big difference. Which means vehicles have to slow right down on either side of the pool so that public safety has been greatly enhanced. 

This is a great example of the Government, through L.T.A., listening to concerns of members of the public and reacting accordingly and in a timely manner.

Today, we believe there is another similar case that warrants urgent attention.

This time, the issue is at Taumeasina where residents have expressed grave concerns about their safety in relation to excessive speed by drivers heading to the Taumeasina Island Resort and back.

 “It would cost the government less to put in speed bumps on the road than to lose a life,” Mr. Niumata said. “I seriously think that it would take the death of someone before the authorities do something about this.”

According to the concerned resident, some of the biggest culprits are diplomatic and Ministerial vehicles. He added that drivers forget there are children in the village.

 “People who come from outside and hold their meetings at the Resort need to know that this is a village. We have children walking to and from school in the mornings after school, it’s very dangerous for them,” Mr. Niumata said. 

“The people here are too scared to have their children playing outside their house because they know the thoughtless drivers will speed by.

“The other guys who are drunk and coming from the Resort – they come past so fast and they never care. They never think to look around and see that there are families that live here and we are too scared to be anywhere near the road in our own village. 

“Also the tourists that come through in their rentals don’t know that the speed limit here in 15km/hr. We need a sign or something.”

By the sound of things, there needs to be more than a sign. The Government needs to do the same thing they have done at Tufuiopa and install some speed humps in the area.  Once they do that, Prime Minister Tuilaepa might then want to remind their Government drivers to slow down. Those beers, cocktails and the food will always be there when they arrive.

Listening to the concerns expressed, the truth is easy to see. Unless the government moves to do something to protect the people of Taumeasina, someone is going to get killed. 

By the grace of God and sheer luck, no one has died yet. But it will not always stay that way. That much we know.

Unless there is a plan to redesign the road with the idea of slowing down the vehicles, one of these days an innocent member of the public will be seriously hurt, or worse, killed. Nobody would want that. 

Which is why it is important that the matter is being raised now for the relevant authorities to pay attention and act with great urgency. Urgent is the operative word here folks. There cannot be a delay. 

Have a safe Tuesday Samoa, God bless!

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