Viber group alarms LTA

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LTA Acting CEO Irimaia Rokosawa during an interview in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

The emergence of a public Viber group called Highway Alert, which has over 14,000 members and aggressively disseminates information regarding police enforcement checkpoints and LTA locations, including speed camera locations, has alarmed the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Fiji Police.

LTA acting CEO Irimaia Rokosawa said the group’s activities were disheartening and undermined the collective efforts to ensure road safety and compliance of rules and regulations on Fiji’s roads.

“This alarming practice not only jeopardises the safety of the public but also hampers the effectiveness of our ongoing road safety initiatives. The diverse membership, comprising mothers, fathers, individuals in high-ranking positions, and civil servants, has a substantial impact on the broader community,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“The LTA and Fiji Police urgently appeal to the members of this public Viber group to reconsider their actions. Rather than alerting fellow members about enforcement operations and vital checkpoints on our roads, we encourage them to actively participate in spreading road safety messages and awareness.”

Mr Rokosawa said responsible driving habits were crucial in preventing accidents and saving lives.

“Avoiding police and LTA checkpoints through such notifications puts lives at risk. Road safety regulations exist to protect all road users, and evading these measures could potentially lead to increased fatalities on our roads.

“LTA and Fiji Police are calling on members of the Highway Alert public Viber group to refrain from engaging in activities that encourage noncompliance with road safety rules, standards, and regulations.”

Mr Rokosawa said every fatality on the road was one too many.

“We believe that by working together, we can create a safer and more responsible driving culture in Fiji. We also commend those who continue to assist the LTA with road safety advocacy and awareness as concerned members of the public.

“The authority appreciates your efforts and commends you on making road safety a priority.

“LTA, Fiji Police, together with our stakeholders and the public can all work together to ensure that the spirit of celebration this festive season is not overshadowed by preventable tragedies on our roads.”

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