POLICE VEHICLES TO BE EQUIPPED WITH LAPTOPS
If everything goes as planned, traffic patrol vehicles for the Dept. of Public Safety will be equipped with laptops, to be used for collecting important data that will play a crucial role in the compiling of traffic records.
Femi Bajamo, a contractor from Ledgelight Technologies is on island to tie up some loose ends and get everything going.
The project includes connecting the correct departments and agencies together, specifically those involved in the territory’s traffic safety system. The group includes the Dept. of Public Works (road infrastructure), the Dept. of Health, the High Court of American Samoa, and the Dept. of Public Safety.
The territory is currently in a ‘good place’ as far as data collection involving traffic safety. Information gathered from accidents, crashes, and deaths that involve motor vehicles or pedestrians are submitted to the US Dept. of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which fully funds the local DPS Office of Highway Safety.
TWO CRUISE SHIPS SET TO CALL INTO PORT THIS WEEK
American Samoa will play host this Friday, January 30, when the Marina Oceania Cruise arrives in the territory. The next day, Saturday, January 31, the Mariner Seven Seas Regent Cruise will dock at the local port, bringing with her up to 700 passengers and a crew of 445.
A total of 18 cruise ships are expected to visit the territory this year between January and October.
In addition to the two that will arrive this week, another two cruise ships will visit American Samoa next month, three in March, one in April, two in May, two in August, and six in October.
DOH OFFERING FREE FLU VACCINES
Nurses from the Dept. of Health are out and about at different sites around the island, administering free flu shots from now until June.
This past Saturday, Samoa News came across three DOH stands — one at the Fagaalu Park, one in the Laufou Shopping Center, and another in front of Neil’s ACE Home Center in Malaeimi.
Everyone is encouraged to get their flu shots, as the recent outbreak has affected hundreds of locals, including young children and the elderly population.
(Samoa News was told, if you had a flu shot last year — find out when, there’s a 12-month span for the flu shot — come in and get one if the 12-month period has passed.)
Local residents are being urged to take advantage of the free flu shots from the DOH but those who should not get vaccinated include people who have severe, life-threatening allergies, those who are not feeling well, and residents who ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
The flu is caused by influenza viruses that spread mainly through coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Flu vaccinations are recommended every year, although some children between 6 months and 8 years old may need two doses during the year.
More information on the flu shots and where you can get vaccinated can be obtained by calling the DOH Immunization Program at 699-8464/8465.
OHS RECORDS 690 CRASHES AND TWO DEATHS LAST YEAR
So far this year, there have been 24 crashes and no fatalities involving a pedestrian or motorist on the territory’s roads. Last year however, according to data from the DPS Office of Highway Safety, two people died in incidents that involved moving vehicles while there was a total of 690 crashes (79 resulting in personal injury and 611 causing property damage).
The 690 crashes involved 1,254 vehicles, one motorcycle, 27 pedestrians, and 1,182 drivers.
The DPS Office of Highway Safety aims to bring the number of crashes down, in addition to preventing unnecessary deaths on the roadways through paid media advertisements, and outreach programs to different schools, church youth groups, and organizations, spreading the word about the importance of buckling up, obeying posted signs, and driving sober.