Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi handed out advice about defensive driving and then took a lighthearted jab at local doctors at his meeting with the media last Thursday.
One of the two survivors from the truck that overturned at Tuanaimato last week, will be on his way to New Zealand to receive more medical attention. He is one of ten patients approved by Cabinet to get medical treatment under the Overseas Treatment Scheme.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed the overseas treatment on Thursday when he spoke to the media.
In doing so, Tuilaepa also spoke about some of the ways drivers get into accidents.
One of the reasons he pinpointed is drivers not using the different gears properly.
“It’s always the negligence of the driver,” said Tuilaepa.
“There are two ways you can stop the car. You have the brakes and there are the different gears to get the car running and to control its speed.
“If you’re coming up from a hill you shift down to the third gear not the fourth one. One of the stupid things that drivers do is putting the car into neutral to save petrol.
When it accelerates from 40mph through to 100mph they try to stop the car with the brakes but it won’t stop.”
According to Tuilaepa most drivers blame faulty brakes when the real reason is the fact that they did not use the right gear.
“The palagi made the different gears so you can control the car and its speed and so that you will not have a problem when just relying on the brakes
“The truck driver shifted to fourth gear and his heavy load did not help with the speed. He was lucky to have survived.”
In approving the ten patients to go overseas, Tuilaepa also joked about the doctors and how they do a good job at signing reports to send the patients overseas.
“That is the knowledge that our doctors are expert at,” said Tuilaepa.
“They have that overseas knowledge of signing off patients to get treated in New Zealand.
“That’s why we wanted a medical school to teach them how to do surgery because the doctors in New Zealand are getting smarter at treating our people while our doctors are busy signing off reports to send an old woman to get treated there.”
Tuilaepa added if he was a doctor he would just go up a mountain and burn his medical certificate so that the light could shine down at the hospital.
It was not possible to get a comment from the Doctors’ Association yesterday.