Crashes big concern for police

Saturday July 25, 2015 Written by Release/CS Published in Crime
Cook Islands Police Commissioner Maara Tetava. Cook Islands Police Commissioner Maara Tetava.

The Cook Islands Police Service says it is ‘very concerned’ about the growing number of crashes on Rarotonga’s roads, following three accidents in recent days, one of which took the life of a young woman.

On Wednesday night emergency response teams from Police, Health and Fire Service attended to and dealt with three crashes involving young people, says Police Commissioner Maara Tetava.

“Sadly, one of our much loved, bright and beautiful young people passed away as a result of one of the crashes. Others are in hospital with serious injuries. We express our sincere condolences to the families of their loved ones who passed away.

“Our serious crime investigation teams are conducting inquiries into these crashes and would like to ask members of the public who may have been in the vicinity of these crashes to come forward and talk to our team.”

In a statement issued on Thursday, Tetava said the biggest causes of vehicle crashes on the island were speed, carelessness, driving while under the influence of alcohol.

“Most if not all of the crashes (that have occurred) are preventable if only motorists would take heed of the safety messages that the Police and Ministry of Health keep conveying on radio, television and in our newspapers.

“Sadly, our motorists are not taking heed of these messages, thus the continuing crashes on our roads.”

Police did not believe the community as a whole was doing enough to help, the Police Commissioner said.

“Teaching and learnings start in the home. Parents and caregivers talk to our young drivers and lead by example. There is no point in telling them not to drink and drive when you are doing it yourself. And there’s no point in telling them not to speed when you are speeding yourself.

“Leaders in our youth groups, church groups, community groups, government agencies must follow suit.

Tetava also warned visitors not to relax the driving standards they would normally use in their own countries. You must continue to apply those high standards of driving and behaviour on our roads at all times.”

We remind all motorists that it is against our laws to drive while under the influence of alcohol,

carelessly and dangerously and to exceed 50kmph in any vehicle on any road.

“It is also against the laws to exceed the speed of 40kmh on a motorcycle if the driver and passenger are not wearing approved safety helmets and to exceed the speed of 30kmph on any vehicle in a reduced speed zone.”

Tetava said everyone should do all do the best that they could to stop the carnage on our roads.

“The safety business belongs to all of us. If we do our little bit in our separate areas this will no doubt contribute to the bigger picture of safer roads for all of us.”

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