“The deadly bus crash at Puipa’a last Saturday, which claimed three lives instantly, has revived questions around the safety of wooden buses. Even the Chief Executive Officer of the Land Transport Authority, Leasi John Galuvao, has called for them to be phased out. What do you think? Should the Government phase out wooden buses? Nefertiti Matatia asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:
Faamoe Ma’anaima, 57, Safata
It is a must for the government to take action; they have to fix the roads properly. Looking at the road and how narrow it is, it’s not safe for the public. The road is narrow but the way the cars are driven around is crazy, they are too fast. There are also some people who drink alcohol and they are the ones who usually speed like that. This is the reason we have so many car crashes. As for the wooden buses, I don’t think that is the problem. I think drivers need better education.
Sandra Laufili,35, Saleimoa
It’s not so much the wooden bus. I think it is driver behaviour. I reckon it is compulsory for any driver whether it is a taxi driver or a bus driver to always have earphones to make communication for them easier. The owner of the bus must fully understand the kind of person working for him. If the person is a drunkard, then do not hire him, even people who smoke marijuana shouldn’t be hired. The safety of the people are in their hands. Our roads are another problem, there are still so many areas where there are potholes which we cannot avoid. This is a road hazard.
Samaila Onosai, 52, Saina
Crashes are nothing new but it’s just sad. There are a number of factors. If you think about the legal age for driving in Samoa, some kids are getting behind the wheel at 18. That’s just way too young in my opinion. Coming back to my point, I don’t think it’s the wooden buses that cause the problems. It is the driver who is reckless that crash the buses, it’s that simple. There are also other factors such as road worthiness of the buses and the drivers. And then you have to add that the road conditions in Samoa are horrendous.
Mose Mose,45, Vaitele
There is no problem with the wooden buses, it is the drivers that need better education on road safety. As a driver we know our vehicles, we would easily pick up that there is something that feels wrong with the bus when you drive it. The wooden buses are stronger than the ready-made buses in my own opinion. Being irresponsible is the cause of any crash that takes place on the road. Any time you are behind that steering wheel, you have to keep in mind that every person on that bus is your responsibility. Their lives literally is in your hands.
Sula Tofa,61, Leauva’a
Everything that happens is a wake up call not just for the drivers but also to everyone. It’s true there are so many people who can drive cars but many of them are reckless and should never be behind the wheel. I think the same goes for buses. So many drivers just show off and speed off but they should understand that it is either their life is at risk or someone else’s life is at stake. I believe that there is nothing wrong with the wooden buses that we have, they are way stronger than those cushioned buses; the problem is the bus driver behind the steering wheel. If a person is careful with how he drives then there is no way it would lead to a car accident.