Appeal to Port Moresby traffic police to intervene

15/03/2012 13:11

A lone Port Moresby police traffic officer at work. Picture courtesy of Tokaut Stret/Sharp Talk


Residents in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby have appealed to traffic police officers to intervene and ensure the city’s public transport complete their routes and charge the right fees.

A section of Port Moresby’s Poreporena Freeway, which connects the highly populated suburbs of Gerehu and Waigani with the CBD via Hohola, collapsed during a heavy downpour early this week and consequently threw traffic into chaos.

Port Moresby resident Justin Talopa took to social media to appeal to traffic police officers to get to the CBD bus pickup point and direct bus drivers to complete their routes and charge the right bus fares.

He said he has noticed Papua New Guineans working in the CBD often having to wait until 7 pm for a bus to travel home, which made them vulnerable to criminal attacks.

“I put this early toksave out to on-duty police traffic officers. Any of you are Sharp Talk member or any other Sharp Talk members having easy contact to our loyal traffic officers please relay the message below. I work in downtown Port Moresby. I have witnessed from the past days where the weather is bad, freeway is closed for the week and our commuters working in downtown have struggled catching bus because all buses during afternoons from 4 to 6 pm divert routes and charging undetermined fares. As a result people (are) stranded even into the evening at 7 pm. The situation is bad and risky due to ongoing bad weather,” he wrote on PNG Facebook group Sharp Talk.

“I humbly call for the city police traffic hierarchy to kindly instruct some members to be stationed at the Port Moresby downtown bus stop from 4-6pm and ensure buses follow their normal route. Weather is bad, our people are stranded and going home late. Some ending up (victims) to thugs too when (its) late. As a result, they somewhat lose interest for work the next day. Please let’s pass the message to the appropriate traffic officers within the remaining time and ensure the buses are monitored from today to a date when the weather is good.”

The city’s municipal authority, National Capital District Commission, has reportedly advised that the remedial work will take up to a month to complete, which would mean more traffic chaos for the burgeoning urban center.

Drivers are beginning to look for alternative routes to travel but are restricted by the lack of options and the risk of being attacked by criminals on routes outside city limits. 

One driver, Sharp Talk user Dugar III, lashed out at the decision by the PNG Road Safety Council to conduct spot checks for vehicle registration in the midst of the city’s traffic chaos.

“With this traffic havoc in the city I turned to find alternative routes to go to and from work and school pick up. It annoys me when you take a route knowing it is free-flowing and then you hit an unexpected long line of cars only to find out the cause of the long lines – Road Safety Officials checking unregistered vehicles,” he posted.