Police plan crackdown on truck compliance and tractors leaving mud on roads

Police are planning to undertake a crackdown on truck compliance as well as tractors that leave mud behind on roads as part of their 2017 priorities.

This has been recently revealed by Acting Police Superintendent Tevita Vailea on Letio Broadcom Broadcasting talkback show.

Callers expressed their concerns over Tonga’s rural roads being reduced to muddy paths by careless tractor drivers.

Other callers told the radio host that overloaded open-top lorries have spilled materials such as stones or gravel on roads in Tongatapu.

One caller said he was following a heavy truck carrying a large load of bricks on Taufaʻahau Road where he witnessed it overtake another vehicle.

Before the truck could pull in front of the vehicle it had overtaken, the load of bricks swayed and could have easily dropped on the road.

He said the situation was very dangerous and could have been much worse had the bricks fallen to the road.

A female caller raised her concerns regarding the lack of attention by drivers at pedestrian crossing signs.  She stated that it was common for cars to ignore pedestrians who were waiting to cross the road at designated crossings, forcing those on foot to wait until the road was clear in both directions.

Another caller told the host how he had witnessed tractors reversing onto the road as they removed bushes and ploughed tax allotments.  Parts of the road where this happened became covered in slippery mud, resulting in a potential hazard for drivers.

Superintendent Vailea told callers on the radio Police were aware of the issues they raised.

He said some of the pedestrian crossing marks on roads were faded or had disappeared and the Ministry of Transport has been notified.

He said there were laws already in place for the issues raised by the callers and Police vowed to enforce them on irresponsible drivers.

The announcement by Vailea came as some concerned members of the public took to Facebook last year and posted photos of  trucks on public roads overloaded with heavy stones and used tyres with no barrier at the back or cover over the top to secure the load.

A Facebook poster claimed he followed a truck overloaded with heavy stones heading to work on the construction at the new Faua Wharf.

He feared that if the load dropped it could be fatal to the occupants of nearby vehicles.

While commenters were calling for strict enforcement of the law by Police regarding such incidents, some people voiced their concern at the lack of by-pass roads for heavy trucks.

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