Police meets with heavy truck operators

The Ministry of Police and Prisons has met with the local operators of heavy duty trucks to discuss how a crash last Friday that claimed a life could be avoided.

Police Commissioner Fuiavaili'ili Egon Keil met with the various companies’ representatives on Thursday to look at the guidelines pertaining to their trucking operations and the safety measures that are currently in place.

“We have seen lots of accidents that happen in Samoa that’s why this meeting (has been) scheduled for all construction (company) owners and drivers to attend,” he said. 

“It is our job to work together for a safer Samoa, it is not just the Ministry’s job to monitor every work that has been happening on the road, it's everyone’s responsibility.”

Fuiavailili told the firms’ representatives that the meeting is also a good opportunity for the Ministry to hear their grievances and to work together to minimise vehicle accidents in Samoa.

It is understood the heavy duty truck last Friday, which was carrying an excavator, is owned by a construction company. It crashed into the side of a fence above The Shrine of the Tree Hearts and killed a 16-year-old boy.

A construction company owner, who attended the meeting with the Police Commissioner, suggested the Ministry should consider stricter driving tests for employees of heavy truck operators as well as separate roads for higher tonnage trucks.

‘’The Ministry should look at ways to uplift the standard of the licenses examination,” said the company owner.

“An additional road zone for trucks and heavy-duty vehicles would be much needed if the Ministry accepts.”

The Ministry held a similar meeting with taxi owners and drivers last month following a spike in motor vehicle accidents involving taxis.

On Wednesday the Police confirmed four vehicle accidents with one alcohol-related; two careless driving; and the fourth the driver falling asleep on the wheel.

Deputy Police Commissioner Papali’i Monalisa Tiai-Keti appealed to the public to drive with care and follow road rules including speed limits.

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