President Baron Waqa, who is also the Minister for Police, has announced a crackdown on drink driving and motorbike riders who are not wearing helmets.
“There are too many unnecessary deaths and injuries on our roads, and our government has been working closely with police and other key stakeholders to significantly reduce the road toll,” he explained.
Mr Waqa said a country with the population of Nauru should not be seeing such a large amount of accidents.
“Every time there is an injury or death on our roads, it causes terrible distress for all involved including family members, and often we have to airlift people to other nations for treatment.”
He said the nation couldn’t afford the personal, community, emotional and economic costs that road accidents create.
The Government and Nauru Police Force (NPF) will launch the new road safety campaign – “It’s time to get serious about road safety”, today at 5pm when the NPF sets up a roadside breath testing unit outside the government offices.
This will be followed by a ‘ride for road safety’, which will see riders with helmets riding around the island to bring awareness to the campaign.
The police blitz will focus on the two areas of motorbike helmets and drinking and driving.
In a statement, President Waqa urged people to change their behaviour.
“It is no longer acceptable for anyone to ride a motorbike without a helmet. Helmets reduce head injuries and it is irresponsible and dangerous.
Helmets are available on island through Eigigu Transport Holdings and all motorbike riders are urged to purchase one before Christmas.
“And as we enter a holiday period where alcohol will be consumed in greater quantities, it is important we act responsibly, and this means that if we drink, never drive a vehicle.”
The President acknowledged that transport after a party where alcohol is consumed, is not always easy but that people had to change their behaviour.