A disaster waiting to happen

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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The last car that slipped into the Tufuiopa pool last week.

The last car that slipped into the Tufuiopa pool last week.

The government needs to consider the safety of people who swim at the Tufuiopa village pool. 

The concern has been raised by village member, Tu’ifao Sauala, following a string of incidents where vehicles have crashed into the pool. 

“As of last week, three vehicles have found themselves in the Tufuiopa pool and luckily no one was swimming when the accidents occurred” he said. 

“Otherwise it would have been a disaster. Are we going to wait for a tragic incident to happen in order to act accordingly?” 

According to Sauala, the traffic incidents have occurred only after the resurfacing of the Tufuiopa road.

 “I blame the L.T.A. and the Police for not enforcing the speed limit in the town area and the condition of the road now,” he said. 

“Also why is this road slippery compared to other roads overseen by L.T.A that are not slippery when it rains? 

 “You see what is going on, there are speed limit signs everywhere, but it is not being enforced that is why the drivers continue to drive like maniacs.”

Sauala lives next to the pool and he says sometimes there are about 25-30 children swimming in the pool.

“Imagine if a car slides into pool, it would be a disaster,” he said. 

“And that is why the government should make this a priority in order to ensure the safety of our children." 

“The road is slippery and as a parent, I am highly concerned for the safety of our children." 

“So now we have stopped our children from going to take a dip in the water, which to me is unfair, this literally deprives our children from enjoying what they grew up doing and that is swimming in the pool,” he said. 

IN THE POOL: The truck in the pool in early December.
IN THE POOL: The truck in the pool in early December.
BE RESPONSIBLE DRIVERS: A bystander at the pool where three cars swam in and the last incident occurred last week.
BE RESPONSIBLE DRIVERS: A bystander at the pool where three cars swam in and the last incident occurred last week.

According to Sauala, the drivers need to play their part and that is to heed the speed limits of the main road. 

"To the drivers who take this road, please be considerate when you drive around this area, we have our children walking to the stores." 

“And also when it rains please do not speed in case your car slips into the pool again." 

“This used to be a safe area, but I’m afraid after the accidents, it has become an unsafe area and the government needs to fix the issue at hand,” said Sauala. 

He said their village has a meeting scheduled and he intends to raise the need for speed bumps and maybe huge rocks to protect the pool. 

“But then even the big rocks will just present such danger for the driver if they crash onto it and that is why it’s important that our concerns are addressed to the L.T.A. and the Ministry of Police,” he said. 

Emails sent to Acting L.T.A. Chief Executive Officer, Mataafa Sepelini Poufa, and Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Auapa’au Filipo Logoitino, were not answered as of press time. 

Last week, a Holden vehicle veered off the road and crashed into the village pool.

An eyewitness, Jadyn Ualesi, said the person who drove the car was test-driving the vehicle.

“The vehicle was speeding,” she told the Samoa Observer.

“It came down from where Island Rock Company is and it couldn’t stop on time to slow down at the curve and it went straight in the pool.

Ms. Ualesi said the driver was not hurt. 

“This pool is usually full of young kids and people nearby who come and take a swim and it would have been a disaster if there were people in the pool.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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