Viseisei Village headman Anare Tuidraki said the recent road fatality of a child last week sparked concerns from the community about public service vehicle drivers speeding and blasting music when passing the village.
“We have the speed limit signboard when you come through the village on your left, but the drivers maintain the speed, we must remember that when you come through the village your speed must be 50 or below,” he said.
He said requests had been made to the Fiji Roads Authority for the installation of road humps along the old Queen’s Road that passed the village as some vehicles sped through when driving down towards the village.
“It is especially the buses that put the volume up mainly when they pick up the children and it’s a big disturbance. Another issue is the delay in services for those who go to work or school. If they miss the half past 7 bus they have to catch the 8 o’clock bus so we always raise this in the Bose ni tikina (district meeting),” he said.
Classic Buses general manager Arun Mani said bus drivers were aware they were not allowed to speed or play music loudly when driving past villages.
Nadi General Transport director Richard Singh said drivers were notified during interviews about the dangers of speeding among other traffic law violations.
“Sometimes they don’t bother, but we talk to them because at night they go fast but so far there haven’t been any accidents for our buses in that area and there is also a speed limit and we do notify them; our drivers are aware,” he said.
He confirmed concerns were raised about drivers blasting music when driving past the village.
“We had a complaint from the headman so we told the drivers not to blast the music as the complaint was made to LTA and they came down here last year and talked to all the drivers,” he said.
Land Transport Authority acting branch manager Lautoka Semi Tuinaceva said: “Yes we do have penalties, but as it is, bus operators are well aware, but the onus is on the drivers. This is a breach in traffic law to play loud music when passing villages.
“We will address this and look into that, but from our perspective, there are already two road humps in the village, but we will send our boys to look into this.”
Edited by Jonathan Bryce