SLRC reviews Traffic Laws of Samoa


The Samoa Law Reform Commission is conducting a full review of the Traffic Laws of Samoa, one of the mandates approved by the Cabinet starting in 2019. 

This is outlined in the Annual Report for the SLRC for financial year 2021/2022

The full review of the Traffic Laws includes the Road Traffic Ordinance 1960 (including Regulations, Orders, and Rules); Road Traffic (payment of Fines) Act 2009 (including Regulations, Orders, and Rules); and iii. Road Transport Reform Act 2008 (including Regulations, Orders, and Rules). 

The Commission was at the final stages of finalising its Draft Discussion Paper for Cabinet approval before carrying out public and stakeholders consultations in this financial year. 

However, this did not take place due to a change in priorities, a shortage of Legal Staff as well as State of Emergency restrictions in response to the Measles outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic. 

The continuation of this work is now deferred to the next financial year 2021-2022. 

According to the annual report in 2019 the Ministry of Police and Prison requested for the Commission to review the Arms and Ordinance Act of 1960 stating that this law, as a pre-independence law requires updating to allow Police to implement its duties and functions in line with current practices to suit the context of Samoa. 

A term of reference was developed following preliminary consultations between the Commission and the Police and was later endorsed by the Office of the Attorney Generals’ office. 

The Commission commenced its preliminary research on this Project in the FY 2020-2021 but was later put on hold due competing for work priorities needing urgent attention and assistance by the Commission, however, there are plans to re-commence its preliminary research and analysis in the FY2021-2022, and continue on to compile its findings to develop a Discussion Paper to be submitted to Cabinet as per usual process. 

However, these were further deferred due to a change in work priorities, a further decrease in the number of Legal Staff to carry out the work as well as the continuation of restrictions in response to COVID-19.

It is noted here that the Police requested that this Review be prioritised as a matter of national interest in the security and safety of its people, given the increase in number of arms-related incidents and offences brought forward.