Road safety is everyone's responsibility

To get everyone to think about the importance of road safety, the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Correction Services conducting the roadblocks will allow the "enforcement of various traffic infringements". 

This is a part of the Police work, to enforce the traffic laws by combining Vaitele and the traffic enforcement on the road.

Meanwhile a programme that will see the setting up of roadblocks by the Police is underway to crackdown on assorted traffic infringements including driving under the influence. 

The focus of their roadblocks will be unlicensed vehicles, unlicensed drivers, unsafe vehicles, drivers driving under the influence of alcohol, additional lights and the use of public service vehicles. 

Deputy Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Keti said there has been a lot of positive feedback from the public about the work being done, and especially in relation to the additional lights on vehicles.  

"The public has many requests to the Ministry to take a good look at additional lights and colorful lights that are not safe for them (installed on vehicles)," she said.

When queried as to the order that stipulates the unlawfulness of the added lights, Papalii confirmed that it was covered under the Road Traffic Amendment Order (No.2) 2017. 

The Order stipulates that fitting additional lights on vehicles is strictly prohibited. 

The Order also clarifies that Additional Lights include: Spot lights, Flood lights, Swivelling Lights, Blinking lights, Tyre lights, Colourful Lights, Decorative Lights, Cree LED Lights bar, laser lights and Strobe Lights. 

The order notes that the Chief Executive Officer of the Land Transport Authority is charged with issuing special permits for the use of additional lights on motor vehicles, subject to the vehicle owner satisfying and completing the Permit application and paying the application fee and annual permit fee set by the Land Transport Authority. 

Any person who drives a vehicle contrary to this requirement of this clause, and does not have a Special Permit, commits an offence and is liable to a penalty specified under section 72A(3) of the Road Traffic Ordinance 1960. 

The 2017 Road Traffic Amendment Order states that the owner of any vehicle which has been operated contrary to the requirements of the clause and does not have a special permit, shall in addition to the driver, be liable to a penalty of $200 regardless of whether such owners was or was not aware of the vehicle being operated contrary to the requirements of this clause. 

For the purpose of this clause “owners” in relation to a motor vehicles, means the registered owner as filed with the L.T.A.

The Road Traffic Amendment Order declares that L.T.A. Authorised Officers and Police Officers have the power to stop, remove, impound and confiscate any additional light which is in contravention to the Order.

It is not clear whether the L.T.A. is still authorised to enforce the Order, since the absorption by Police of the Authority's Traffic Division. 

The Police are anticipating continue with their roadblocks until a significant impact has been made and a big change is seen with regards to the Order. There is no time frame set out for these roadblocks.

The message of road safety and safe vehicles is at the forefront, since trauma caused by road traffic crashes impact families, communities and place burdens on health care systems and national resources.

Road traffic incidents include careless driving, excess speeding, drinking and driving, non-use of seatbelts, continuous use of mobile cell phones while driving, using unfit and unregistered vehicles on the road, as well as insufficiently maintained roads. 

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to road safety, and this includes pedestrians. 

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