Nando Bodha, former Minister of Public Infrastructure and co-leader of the 'Linion Moris' party, strongly deplores the increase in the amount of fines. He believes that road safety is “a permanent emergency” and that it is “normal” that drivers react following the implementation of these measures.

Figures show a continued increase in road accidents. What is your analysis of the current road safety situation in Mauritius?

What is happening on our roads today is very serious. Unfortunately, no one in government reacts. I wonder where the National Road Safety Commission and the National Road Safety Council that I set up when I was minister are. We had made road safety a national priority, and the commission was under the responsibility of Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Today, everyone washes their hands.

The recent increase of around thirty 'fixed penalties' has sparked strong reactions. How do you justify these new measures?

It's normal for people to react. Instead of prioritizing education, the authorities are using repression by increasing the penalties from 11 to around 30 and, even more serious, they are increasing the fines.

For many drivers, this increase is “disproportionate:. Do you share this opinion?

Of course, this is disproportionate. Where are the road safety campaigns? In my time, we organized a month-long road safety campaign with 52 events across the country and in Rodrigues. I organized a workshop with the participation of Jean Todt, former racing driver and advisor on road safety to the United Nations, and all those involved in road safety. We brought together all these beautiful people, public and private, to reduce the number of accidents on our roads. At the ministry, we set up a committee dedicated to road safety and launched campaigns through brochures, on television, on the radio and in the written and spoken press, with the result of a considerable reduction in the number of deaths on our roads.

Do you think that the introduction of these repressive sanctions is the most effective method of encouraging compliance with the Highway Code?

Repression is the weapon of dictators. When the situation gets out of control, repression is used, one example among many of the true nature of this government. Where has the road education gone in our schools, the cycle paths that I had installed in certain schools? Everything is gone. This is the result today, and I guarantee you that if we had continued on this good path, we would not be here with this number of deaths on our roads.

In complete transparency, do you believe that the new fine amounts will really encourage drivers to adopt more responsible driving?

And you, do you believe it? Once again, I wonder where the bikers, around fifty, who the police had put on the road to monitor our drivers went. Nothing. We were so strict on road safety that we had to remove a campaign that some people found too sensitive.

With fines increasing from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 for the absence of a 'fitness' certificate, and from Rs 1,000 to Rs 25,000 for non-compliant registration plates, do you think these amounts are fair? and proportionate?

This equals easy money. While our roads and drivers are left to their own devices, once again repression comes into play. And the police, what is their role in road safety education? There must be proportionality. We must do rational work that will give drivers confidence. We also need to look at what is happening in other countries.

The fine for participating in illegal rallies can reach up to Rs 100,000 for a 3rd offense. Do you think this amount is dissuasive and justified?

Once again, everyone knows where these illegal rallies are held, except the police. I see an inadequate presence of our police on our roads, especially in the evening.

The issue of speeding fines is also at the heart of the debate. What is your position on this?

Motorcycle schools should be free. If there is something we should offer young people, it is motorcycle schools paid for by the State. It is the Prime Minister who should be the guarantor of road safety in the country.

Would you be in favor of harmonizing speed limits for better consistency on the roads?

The problem would be solved by the National Traffic Control System, aiming to synchronize traffic lights across the country to improve traffic flow and circulation.

Do road infrastructures play a role in the increase in accidents? If so, what improvements would be necessary?

Dark spots must be identified. In Batimarais and Rivière-des-Anguilles, the roads are narrow. Certain roads must be lit and a road safety observatory must be created to allow constant monitoring. Maurice has everything to do well.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the road safety campaigns carried out so far in Mauritius?

What campaign are you talking about? These few rare ineffective campaigns we see on the Billboards. I had a plan to install a hundred Billboards to raise awareness and today we see a dozen belonging to the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit (TMRSU).

In your opinion, what awareness strategies should be put in place to sustainably educate drivers and improve road safety?

Education, education and education. We need to raise awareness among everyone, not just drivers or pedestrians, but everyone: parents, students, motorcyclists, pedestrians and young people. And this will be done with campaigns throughout the year so that people understand that road safety is a national priority and that the participation of the entire population is vital for our roads to become safer and the number of accidents are reduced to the strict minimum.

Let's talk politics. Can you tell us about the national congress organized by 'Linion Moris' and its main objectives?

The objective is for 'Linion Moris' to be present in the 20 constituencies and the 'polling stations'. At the same time, it is about motivating our people so that they are active on the ground. The terrain is very favorable. You will need to be present on the ground. The population needs to be listened to. She wants radical change and we must be able to bring about this democratic revolution through elections. On the other hand, a meeting, which will bring together the delegates, is planned at the Belle-Rose municipal center, this Sunday, June 23, from 9:30 a.m.

Can you enlighten us on the current discussions with the leader of the PMSD, Xavier-Luc Duval, regarding a possible alliance?

I have a good relationship with XLD. We also do it with other training. People from my area met Georges Ah-Yan, Madun Dulloo and Patrick Belcourt. The fundamental change the country needs is patriotic. Many people think it will be a money fight. It's true. But I appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of Mauritians. The PMSD has its priorities, its timetable and its strategies.

We are a country of alliances. Who says alliance, says breakage. Often there is no common program. The only alliance that held was from 2000 to 2005

If an alliance is formed, what would be the main common strategies of 'Linion Moris' and the PMSD for the next elections?

We want to bring together all the patriots who want Mauritius to have a new cycle of development. We are open to all patriots who want to join us. We have to have a program. A program is vital. What is interesting is that the program will be like a pact with the population. Everything must be done with respect and sharing. Ticket sharing and common future.

Motorcycle schools should be free. If there is something we should offer young people, it is motorcycle schools paid for by the State

How do you assess the political situation in the country, and what role does 'Linion Moris' aspire to play in this context?

It's about my fight. You can love a political party, but you must love your country more than anything. Since February 2021, more than three years, we have seen the deterioration regarding fraud, corruption and good governance. There is a calm. But beneath this calm, there is something boiling. Once the electoral machinery is set in motion, there will be a wave. People are looking for something new. It is our duty to present a new force.

How do you respond to criticism that political alliances in Mauritius are often based on electoral calculation rather than common ideologies or programs?

We are a country of alliances. Who says alliance, says breakage. Often, there is no common program. The only alliance that held was from 2000 to 2005. I say that we must restore confidence in the population. We must reinvent the conditions of an alliance. This is why I say that an alliance must be made with respect and sharing. With a three-way battle, and 'Linion Moris' as the new force, I want to give the population another choice of team and program. I said that if you love money, you shouldn't be Prime Minister.

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