N Touch
Thursday 21 November 2019
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Editorial

Ultra care

THE WRECKAGE told its own tale. Left behind after Thursday’s rush-hour accident along the Priority Bus Route (PBR) that claimed the life of a police officer and endangered the lives of many others, it was a sombre warning. Looming large on our cover yesterday, it said: beware the dangers of the road.

With the busy Christmas season just around the corner – if not already upon us – the wreckage was a reminder to all for the need to exercise ultra vigilance and care. We point no fingers in these tragic circumstances, suffice it to say all it takes to lose a life is just one small mistake.

We join with members of the national community in mourning the loss of the police corporal who was at the wheel at the time of this incident, while also extending our deepest condolences to his family. By all accounts, things could have been worse. Not only was his daughter also in the car, but the vehicle spun and hit a full 12-seater maxi-taxi heading in the opposite direction. It is something of a Christmas miracle that the fatalities were not higher.

This rush-hour accident along the PBR will draw attention to the need for that roadway to be more robustly policed. Anecdotal evidence suggests while many behave responsibly on the PBR, there is a problem especially with official vehicles including high-speed convoys, whether assisting state officials meet vital appointments in the capital or transporting prisoners for court appearances, or exhibits being transferred to the Forensic Science Centre.

In the case of the latter, it is sometimes baffling to witness all of the bluster and noise to accommodate corpses that have no earthly appointments left to keep. The way these vehicles swerve in and out the pathway of other traffic, sometimes even commandeering the wrong lane and dangerously trundling through the many intersections, creates an ominous picture of a disaster waiting to happen.

The abuse of the roadway, whether by people with official authorisation or the occasional interloper, is something that needs to be stopped. This is only possible with greater use of surveillance and more regular patrols.

The PBR is a major public transport artery. Thousands rely on it daily. It’s incredibly important for commuters to feel safe while using it. Maxi-taxis in particular must be made to cease the indiscipline that accompanies their routine on the PBR.

There is a deeper issue, perhaps, of the need for more streamlining in our mass transit system to prevent abuses and to allow greater efficiency.

Meanwhile, we acknowledge all of the first responders who had the difficult task of managing the fallout from Thursday’s crash and other members of the public who sought to help the unfortunate victims. They are all part of the ultra care that is required.

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