MVIL managing director Dr John Mua has urged motorists to give greater thought toward the key messages of the national road safety and awareness campaign launched in Nov.
Dr Mua, who was a leading figure behind the introduction of the campaign throughout PNG by the motor vehicle insurance company, has made the urgent call in the wake the horrific collision of two PMV buses near Umi Bridge in the Markham Valley on Jan 12, which killed 43 people. There are fears the toll may rise as high as 50 with several critically injured.
'Road Safety: It's Not a Game' is the public message of the advertising and public relations initiative, which has used many stars from the NRL competition to push the message on TV, radio and in newspapers across the country.
The total number of fatalities (26) for the Dec-Jan period following the late Nov launch of the campaign had sparked hope for an improvement compared to figures of 36, 32, 32 and 33 for the corresponding period over the previous four years, before the Umi Bridge accident became the worst motor vehicle accident on record.
It is alleged speeding and careless driving were major factors behind the tragedy - offenses the campaign has been designed to help reduce.
"Our motorists, and particularly those entrusted with the lives of many such as PMV drivers, need to heed the messages of 'Road Safety: It's Not a Game," Dr Mua said.
"This is a long term initiative and there will be tragedies at various points. Unfortunately this is a part of life. We are committed to what will be an ongoing campaign to educate our motorists but our citizens need to start listening to the message we are projecting.
"Another offense we are trying to discourage is the blatant over-crowding of PMV's. There is the likelihood this was the case again. People have the right to say no to boarding an overcrowded PMV and they can get off at anytime. I urge passengers to exercise that right if they feel threatened at any time."
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