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“SEATBELTS, PICKUP TRUCKS AND SAFETY”

Dear Editor:

I just finished reading the article regarding the proposed ban on four-wheel 'aiga buses', which also touched on the enforcement of seat belts for drivers of buses.

This is all well and good, but could someone. anyone, please tell me how this is more important or a more dangerous situation than seeing a pickup truck with school age children riding in the back? No seat belts there! Some are even sitting on the frame, meaning not down in the bed of the truck. I've also seen young children standing up in the back while the pickup is moving. 

There are plenty of adults who do the same so I imagine the children think that if the adults can do it, so can they.

Something just doesn't seem right when a driver of a car gets a ticket for not wearing a seat belt and, at any give time of the day, at least half the pickups on island have passengers of all ages in the back with nothing to keep them from falling out if an accident occurs.

Am I the only one on-Island that thinks something is not adding up right here?

A very concerned motorist

ng

(Editor’s Note: In the US, no passengers are allowed on the back of a moving truck, however the culture of pickup trucks on island centers around its use as The Family Vehicle — it’s the workhorse for our Samoan style of living.

As such, there are laws on hand that address safety concerns within this ‘pickup truck culture’.

There is a law forbidding children from riding in the back of a truck without an adult right there beside them, and also one that does not allow passengers of any age from sitting on the edge-sides or standing while the truck is moving.

The speed limit of not more than 20 to 25 mph anywhere on our roads further supports safety concerns.

In a general overview, most accidents involving a truck, on island, where passengers on the back of the truck were injured and in some cases have died, have been the result of speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence, passengers were standing up or sitting on the edge while the truck was moving, and mechanical fault.

As in all laws, there is a responsibility by the public, in this case driver and passengers, to uphold them, if they are going to work. Police enforcement is only one part of the equation. ra)



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