Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Accident victim wants review of road rules


AN injured passenger in a recent fatal road accident at Sasiang Farm, along the Markham plains in Morobe, has called for stringent measures to be esta­blished for trucking companies including the issuing of driving licences, The National reports.
Mt Hagen Secondary School deputy principal James Pini (pictured) made the call yesterday from his hospital bed at the Lae International Hospital.
Pini had sustained two broken bones on his right hand while his wife, Naomi, received injuries to her head.
Others admitted at the Angau Memorial Hospital included George Ning, Peter Philip, Joshua Kopugl and Jonny Boy from Moge-Namb in Hagen Central with body and head injuries.
Pini wanted the relevant authorities to seriously review:
.The operating regulations of trucking companies;
.Issuing of driving licences;
.Penalties for careless dri­ving;
.Establishment of weighing stations; and
.Awarding of road contracts and maintenance.
Among the fatal accidents along the Markham plains since last year was the collision of two Coaster buses at Ragiampun which resulted in 40 deaths in January and another involving evangelist Joseph Kingal and his family at Zumim Bridge last November.
Two Fridays ago, a Landcruiser utility belonging to Traisa Transport ran into the back of a semi-trailer belonging to Rookes Marine resulting in three deaths.
Last Thursday, a Coaster bus collided with a KK & Sons semi-trailer resulting in five deaths.
Early last Saturday morning, a Mazda Dyna ploughed into the same semi-trailer which was left on the roadside after Thursday's accident resulting in eight more deaths.
Altogether, 57 deaths were recorded since last year while those who sustained injuries in other crashes went unreported.
Pini also pointed out two other factors resulting in the accidents on the highway – bad road conditions and careless driving.
"Who will be responsible for the expense of the deaths and compensations, hospital surgery and treatment fees for injured persons including living costs for the families of those that died?
"Is it the government or trucking company, PMV and vehicle owners involved?" Pini said.
"The government needs to think critically and put in place measures to guide, control and minimise such road accidents."
Meanwhile, Lae area base medical store (LABMS) mana­ger Polume Jonathan said LOHA Customs and Forwarding, LD Logistics and MDL were the three companies engaged in medical supplies procurement.
"I have no knowledge of the arrangement for the Mazda Dyna involved in the accident, reportedly returning from Madang after procurement of medical supplies," Jonathan said.
The truck is owned by JED Logistics Company, engaged by the Health Department in Port Moresby for procurement of medical supplies.
They were recently established in Lae but cargo forwarding and consignments were done in NCD while, in Lae, they did deliveries only to required destinations.
However, having no proper warehouse, they were allowed to use the LABMS yard but have no proper vehicles, he said.

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