Early Saturday morning, a man was arrested after allegedly driving while over twice the legal breath alcohol limit, as well as driving whilst disqualified. He was bailed to appear in court this week. A second man was also arrested and bailed on Saturday after being charged with excess breath alcohol.
A man suffered minor abrasions to the head after crashing his vehicle in Takuvaine on Friday afternoon. That night, an accident in Arorangi was also reported to police. A motorcyclist is alleged to have received fractures after crashing near the Seventh Day Adventists church. Police believe alcohol and speed was a factor in the incident.
Also on Friday, police received a report of a person in Arorangi “driving erratically”. The person was reported to have only just avoided a collision with oncoming traffic. Police also received a report of a motorcyclist swerving from one side of the road to the other near Club Raro that night. It is believed police have the registration of the motorbike and are investigating.
“June is emerging as a very poor month for driving, as motor vehicle crash incidents are occurring at a rate of at least one a day” a police spokesman said.
Only nine accidents were reported for the whole of June last year. At the time a police statement about road accidents was released on Sunday, a total of 10 crashes had already been reported to police for the month of June, averaging one crash a day on Rarotonga’s roads.
“If driving behaviour and practices do not improve, the statistics are on track to be the worst of the year so far,” the spokesman said.
Last year, a total of 258 crashes were reported to the police. It was the highest number of reported incidents since 2014. A total of 94 crashes been reported to police since the beginning of this year. This includes at least three reported fatalities.
“Just over half the accidents last month were caused by careless or dangerous driving. Again, the highest risk group appears to be local males above the age of 25, riding motorcycles,” the spokesman said.
Between 2007 and 2016, around half of the incidents involving drivers under the age of 25 were alcohol-related.
In 2016, the health ministry released a $1 million Road Safety Strategy, covering the 2016-2020 period.