Not reporting traffic accidents to the Police is a crime.
So said Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
He pointed out that it is illegal under the Traffic Ordinance Act of 1960.
During the holiday season, there were numerous traffic accidents that damaged government properties.
While some accidents were reported, other incidents were not reported to the Police.
Auapa’au says it’s it is mandatory under the law for members of the public to report any traffic incident.
He quoted that under “duty to give information,” members of the public are required to report instances where the driver of a vehicle is alleged to be guilty of an offence.
This involves “dishonesty towards a passenger or with respect to any goods or freight carried on the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle shall, on demand by any police officer, give such information as he or she can as to the identity of the driver, and if he or she fails to do so shall be guilty of an offence.”
Auapa’au told the Samoa Observer that any person who fails to do any act required by this Ordinance and any person who does any act which this Ordinance forbids to be done commits an offence.
“A person convicted of an offence under this Ordinance or any regulation made thereunder for which no special penalty is provided is liable in the case of the first offence to a fine not exceeding 2 penalty units and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction to a fine not exceeding 4 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months,” Auapa’au said while quoting the Traffic Ordinance Act of 1960.
Land Transport Authority C.E.O, Leasi Vainalepa Galuvao, supports the call for traffic incidents to be reported so the drivers can be held accountable.
Responding to questions from the Samoa Observer, Leasi reminded the public that L.T.A. offers monetary reward for bystanders who report people who damage government properties.
“If the information provided leads the L.T.A. to the person responsible and the recovery of costs of repair/replacement, then the individual who provides the information will be given a $200 reward from the L.T.A.
“The L.T.A. has issued four rewards to date.”
Leasi says any government asset that is damaged because of an accident or vandalism, is the responsibility of the L.T.A. to repair/replace immediately if damaged in an accident or vandalism, to ensure the safety of all road users and the general public.
“To recover the costs of repair/replacement, the L.T.A. works closely with the public and/or the Ministry of Police (M.O.P).
“If the matter is with the M.O.P. (traffic accident), the M.O.P. assists the L.T.A. by providing details of the person charged with causing the damage, and the L.T.A. pursues the individual for the required costs.
“If the damage is not reported to the M.O.P., members of the public are encouraged to report damaged assets directly to the L.T.A.,” said Leasi.