The Fiji Roads Authority, Land Transport Authority and the Fiji Police Force are working together in a joint operation to help make Fiji Roads Safer by educating commercial vehicle operators about their responsibility when it comes to working within the legal weight limits.
FRA Board Chairman and Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister, Lt.Col Pio Tikoduadua has raised safety concerns around overloaded vehicles using the Naiborebore bypass on Kings Road and instructed FRA to address this issue. At a meeting held at FRA on Wednesday, a working group from the three government agencies was formed. FRA, LTA and the Police all share the same concerns when it comes to road safety as a result of overloading as vehicle performance and stability can be affected. Mr Dale Nicholls, FRA’s Maintenance Works Manger, is also concerned by the damage to the countries roads, bridges and jetties occurring as a result of overloading.
FRA’s consultants, MWH Fiji and maintenance contractor Fulton Hogan Hiways Joint venture will also be assisting with the campaign says Mr Nicholls. We need to ensure that suitable locations are brought up to standard to enable this operation to occur and we will assist the LTA and Police by providing lighting and traffic management as and when requested.
The campaign, set to start shortly and located near the Naiborebore bypass, will initially focus on education with commercial vehicles randomly stopped and weighed. Signs will be erected shortly reminding drivers of the maximum legal weigh limits with LTA’s Manager of Enforcement Mr Alfred Williame saying that the drivers of any vehicle found overloaded in the early days of the campaign will be spoken too to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities. Any load in excess off a set tolerance however will have to be offloaded to comply with the law before they will be able to continue on their way. Once this early phase of education is over then the LTA will be issuing fines to the drivers of any vehicle still found to be overloaded. We will be issuing fines based on gross weight and individual axles weights to ensure public safety is not compromised and to assist the FRA in looking after the investment the Government has in the roading infrastructure says Mr Wiliame.
Director of Traffic Mr Mahesh Mishra says the Fiji Police Force is fully supportive of this initiative. His team will be assisting the FRA and LTA during this campaign with staff posted at the weighing areas enforcing penalties on drivers found in breach of the Law.
The campaign is set to start off next week and will then continue on a random basis.