29 Jul 2009

Poor driving attitudes prompts new road safety plan for Tonga

3:24 pm on 29 July 2009

Poor driving on Tonga's roads has been the focus of a two-day workshop this week as police hope to target casual attitudes to driving.

Police Commander Chris Kelly says the workshop will produce a National Road Safety Plan for Tonga which aims to reduce injuries and deaths from traffic crashes.

Commander Kelly says he hopes the community's attitude to driving can improve and the plan is likely to focus on driver education and police enforcement of road rules.

"It's about attitude as a key factor from the policing point of view. Enforcement is only part of the answer. Education is critical. The driving behaviour here in Tonga leaves a lot to be desired. I have described it as appalling and at times it can be criminal."

Commander Kelly says each year on average ten people die in road accidents and most of these are on the main island of Tongatapu.