by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
PNG has one of the highest rates of road accidents compared to other countries in the world.
That’s from the Nelson Terema, executive director of the Road Safety Council (RSC).
As a result, 20 per cent of deaths each year were from school aged children attempting to cross the road. PNG is placed 4th in the world as having the highest rate of road accidents and the Road Safety Council is looking at ways of minimising this.
Executive Director Nelson Terema said transport authorities have merged under the umbrella known as the Road Traffic Authority and once it has been passed in parliament, harsh penalties and measures will be taken.
A 2013 survey recorded 90 per cent of drivers in Port Moresby as not knowing many traffic signs and rules. Annually, 250 people are killed on the road.
Records also indicate that most fatal accidents occurred between the months of December to January. The top eight provinces with high fatal accident rates include NCD, Morobe, Western Highlands and Eastern Highlands, followed by Madang, Central Province, Chimbu and East Sepik province.
As a result, the Road Safety Council is warning drivers and pedestrians to take extra precaution when on the road and know their road safety rules.
Meanwhile, Terema said drivers travelling along the Highlands Highway are driving at a very high speed. Once the Act is passed parliament, RSC will make sure no bus is travelling at night on the Highlands Highway.
Resting places will be built along the highway to make sure drivers get their needed rest. A Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be put along the Highlands Highway to detect vehicles travelling at high speed.