Forty-four deaths were recorded on Fiji roads in 2022, including a six-year-old who died on 17 December, almost doubling the number of fatalities in 2021.
Records kept with the Fiji Police Traffic Division showed that deaths recorded this year increased by nearly 80 percent compared to 25 reported in 2021.
Among those who died in 2022 was a six-year-old student in Yaroi who was allegedly hit by a vehicle driven by a 48-year-old man from Navaqiqi on 17 December. The accused has since been charged with one count of dangerous driving occasioning death and will be produced at the Labasa Magistrates Court today.
Meanwhile, increased traffic infringement booking remains a worry for the traffic department.
In 24 hours, between 6am on New Year’s Eve and 6am on New Year’s Day, the division noted 15 drunk and driving arrests, six of which were recorded in the Western Division, five in the central division, three in the South and one in the Eastern Division. Police also booked 118 people for speeding.
“Speeding and drunk driving are two of the leading causes of road fatalities and despite the repeated warnings and advisories being issued, we continue to record a high number of bookings,” Chief Operations Officer (COO) Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (A/ACP) Livai Driu said.
“Driver attitudes need to change. We urge everyone to speak up and report drivers who continue to be reckless to prevent further loss of lives on our roads.”
Traffic officers will be out in numbers again today with increased movement of people anticipated following the Christmas and New Year festivities.