‘Teach them to use the gear’

The Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) has been told to implement a course where bus drivers – and drivers in general – can learn how to use the gear to safely maneuver a car downhill.

The instruction came from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi during yesterday’s budget debate in Parliament.

Tuilaepa said far too many drivers don’t know how to use the gear to stop a car in an emergency.

The Prime Minister raised the point in response to a call by the Member of Parliament for Gagaifomauga No.3, Faaulusau Rosa Duffy Stowers, who called on bus drivers to use common sense on the road.

The Member of Parliament said there have been far too many crashes - including buses - caused by reckless drivers who fail to ensure the vehicles are in a road worthy condition.

She added common sense dictates that a bus driver should ensure the vehicle is in a road worthy state before he even gets behind the wheel.

What’s happening instead is that the drivers are risking people’s lives by continuing to drive when they know the breaks are faulty.

Faaulusau suggested that the L.T.A. only allow people to drive a bus after they are presented with a special bus driver certificate.

That’s when Tuilaepa made the point about the gear. 

He said lessons on how to use the gear when the vehicle is heading downhill – including how to stop it – must be incorporated into the L.T.A's driver education programmes.

The Member of Parliament also raised the need for drivers to look more presentable and suggested a dress code. 

She went on to question the laws governing loud horns, warning that bus owners who meddle with the regulated horns should be dealt with.

Parliament continues today.

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