The horrific fatal accident this week on Erakor road is a tragedy that can partly or mostly be blamed, apart from reckless driving by the driver, on lack of proper regulation of the whole road traffic sector.

Like the suggestion in a letter to the Minister of Internal Affairs posted on Facebook by Stanley Trief, proper regulation is needed, which means revisiting traffic laws and other relevant legislations.

The young driver that has been charged for reckless driving causing death should have never been allowed behind the wheel, especially of a public transport vehicle carrying passengers that has reportedly been on the road for only a few days.

For a new public transport driver, reports allege eyewitnesses saw the bus travelling at a high speed with passengers, then allegedly feigned hitting some of his friends on the road by swerving towards them then out towards what was supposedly the centre of the road before hitting the bus on what was supposed to be the opposite lane moments later.

This is something that quite a number of drivers like to do when they meet friends on the road.

That is careless and dangerous driving that should not be condoned and is certainly never taught in driving tests- both theory and practical, if one such test was ever given to the young driver by the responsible authority.

Worst is that this part of the road is where many drivers like to drive on at high speed but there is no white line on the road to separate the lanes or even speed humps like a hundred metres further towards Erakor village.

The same goes for the road between Tagabe roundabout and Mele village, where witnesses recently saw a brand new blue public transport with plastic wrappers still covering its seat travelling at high speed nearly hitting- of all vehicles- a police truck.

We say it is time the government looks at and revamp the traffic laws and rules that regulate public transport, which includes vehicles providing tours for tourists, to minimize such tragic accidents from happening in the future.

Even if it means wearing seat belts is compulsory or increasing the current maximum prison sentence of five years for taking another person's life through causing death by reckless driving- then so be it.

To the paramedics from ProMedical, Vila Central Hospital and air ambulances, you have done a fine job in response to the tragic incident.

And to the ni-Vanuatu passengers and Australian tourists recovering, we wish you a speedy recovery.

To families that lost a loved-one in the accident, we are deeply sorry for your loss.

Royson Willie


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