Dear Editor,

I write to express my concern over drunk drivers in Luganville town.

Young drivers in particular may not see this as important as sometimes it is their normal habit to relax with 1 or 2 beers while driving and providing transportation service around Luganville town. Some drivers may be discreet when they are able to control the alcohol consumption while others are very noticeable when they extend the consumption and period of consumption for a longer period.

Authorities concerned — what is happening to the order signed by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Andrew Napuat on the 18th of May 2018 about VT500,000 fine for drivers under the influence of alcohol? Does the order have a commencing and an ending date which has since lapsed? what is the real issue here? Or does the order only apply to the capital city residents and not Luganville.

There are serious traffic accidents which resulted from deaths over the past years, serious injuries and unplanned or damages caused to other people’s vehicles and properties as the result of driving under the influence of alcohol. Who is going to pay for and fix these damages if the driver himself is deceased?

It is noticeable that during traffic accidents, traffic officers do impose fines.

Just last weekend, an elderly person caused a traffic accident just at the roundabout at the SANMA Police station ending down at the NISCOL wharf area. He was injured, along with other passengers in his vehicle which included his wife and children. They ended up in the hospital and were transferred to Port Vila for treatment. In such cases, the imposing of a fine is not considered important compared to his treatment and his family.

Yet if fines were to be effectively enforced they can be a deterrent because drivers would think twice before consuming alcohol while providing public transport services. Hence, it is very necessary for authorities concerned to take this into consideration in order to eradicate this problem otherwise it will continue to escalate.

USP Student

S11067524

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