SANJAY JAGATSINGH

At an average of 151 road fatalities per year in office – fraction of year in office greater than half is attributed the full year – Navin Ramgoolam has the worst record (see 1). Barely better is Pravind Jugnauth. Bérenger is roughly between SAJ and PJ. The best is SSR. He would have had about 178 fewer deaths than SAJ had his prime ministership been five years longer. The two Ramgoolams have stints in office of the same length but NR’s tally is 424 higher. This is rather bad given all the progress that has been made in the field of road safety for the past three decades. And we have to remember that personal computers were not as ubiquitous before 1982 as they’ve been for the past twenty years.

Chart 2 confirms how much we’ve fallen behind Singapore. While she has seen the total number of road deaths fall decade after decade Mauritius has seen her numbers increase by 40% in the first decade and literally stay flat for the next two. This has caused the gap between our totals to narrow substantially and it might even disappear by the end of next year. Which would be another source of embarrassment for us given that our population is about four and half times lower. But the next decade can be a lot better if we do two things. One is to ask candidates currently seeking our votes how they intend to bring these numbers down fast. The other is to assess the credibility of these plans.