Road-related offences soar again

Tuesday July 17, 2018 Written by Published in Crime
A badly damaged car pictured near the Fishing Club at Tupapa after a two-vehicle crash back in May. The drivers of both vehicles were charged with driving with excess alcohol. 18052823 A badly damaged car pictured near the Fishing Club at Tupapa after a two-vehicle crash back in May. The drivers of both vehicles were charged with driving with excess alcohol. 18052823

Road-related violations have hit the news again after about a quarter of offences registered by the police last month turned out to be motor vehicle crashes (MVCs).

In a statement, police said though motor vehicle crashes made up 23 per cent of the offences registered, they did not include driving-related incidents such as dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and excess breath alcohol offences.

The number of motor vehicle crashes recorded last month is also up by nine per cent from the previous month (May).

“June was a particularly high figure for crashes compared with May. The monthly figure jumped from 14 to 23 per cent. It’s also high compared to the same period last year, which was only nine,” the Cook Islands Police Service said in a statement.

Alcohol was the contributing factor in most of the road incidents (65 per cent) with high risk issues again involving motorbikes (74 per cent) and local adult males (39 per cent), police said.

“In all of the motorbike crashes, none of the drivers wore helmets.”

The Cook Island Road Safety Council is concerned at the latest figures and is asking people to be more vigilant when driving.

Council president Brent Fisher said council members had noticed that some careless motorists were posing risks to other road users.

He said the council was also wary of the busy period on the island that will accompany Te Maeva Nui celebrations and the potential problems it will cause on the roads.

“We are entering a busy period where we will have a lot of visitors from the outer islands and some of them may not have the adequate experience to drive on the roads here, and this can pose some risks,” Fisher said.

“Also, there will be a lot of drinking and parties as families come together and we request people who are planning to be part of such gatherings to arrange for a designated driver.

“We also ask people not to get in cars which are driven by people who have consumed alcohol. The person might seem alright, but it doesn’t always end up like that.”

Meanwhile, two motor vehicle crashes were reported in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The first one occurred at Betela where a pick-up carrying two people overturned.

Police said the driver was taken to hospital and a blood specimen was sought for analysis.

The second crash occurred in town with the driver of a motorcycle hitting another vehicle in front. The driver was admitted to hospital and a blood specimen was sought, police said.

Police also received a complaint over the weekend about a reckless driver in Tupapa.

“The driver was identified to police. And a young male was forbidden from driving. His motorcycle did not have a muffler.”

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