In the absence of a coordinated national road safety plan, Health says the Cook Islands will continue to experience higher rates of road traffic crashes, and crash related deaths, injuries and disability.
“The Cook Islands requires a comprehensive Road Safety Strategy and Action plan which is pragmatic, affordable, sustainable, and context-specific to our settings,” says Chief Medical Officer Dr Bernard Fouke.
He says the burden of road traffic crashes in the Cook Islands is unacceptable in spite of the efforts of the community so far.
In partnership with Cook Islands Police, Infrastructure Cook Islands and the Cook Islands Road Safety Council, Health are sponsoring a Road Traffic Safety Summit to address the issue.
A working meeting on Friday will seek to develop a Cook Islands Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan.
The plan will incorporate a whole of society approach and involve the perspectives of Cook Islands’ people and communities.
After developing the strategy and action plan, there will be a period of public consultation.
The plan will then be passed onto cabinet for endorsement and any introduction of recommended legislation will also be looked at.
“We are hopeful that the outcome will be positive for all of the Cook Islands residents and visitors,” Fouke says.