Two officers were re-routing traffic away from the section of main road where the fire-devastated Raromart is located, and the tourist, who was attempting to cross from the lagoon side of the main road, was quickly brought to a halt, and told to shift his young passenger to the back seat.
A police spokesman said yesterday that carrying a passenger on the front of a motorcycle was against the law, no matter the age of the person involved.
“It’s a minor offence worthy of a fine, which I believe is only $20,” the spokesman said. “The larger concern is the safety of young children, so this practice (depicted in the CINews photos), is actually a clear demonstration of a complete disregard for the safety of the child.”
The incident showed of the type of casual attitude that some visitors had towards the Cook Islands environment, the spokesman said.
“They wouldn’t do it in New Zealand or Australia, but apparently an island environment is a reason to drop your guard on road safety.
“Our roads carry significant and different risks, which is why police launched the (motorcycle) handling skills test and applied a fee back in late 2016.
“That was rejected as excessive and time-consuming. The downside though, is the weakening of awareness-building and again leaving all responsibility (for safe driving) on the shoulders of the police.”