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Road safety effort a success

Wednesday January 06, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Police have previously used this accident-wrecked car to demonstrate the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. 16010508 Police have previously used this accident-wrecked car to demonstrate the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. 16010508

Police are warning speed radars and breathalysers will be in the hands of many officers and drivers should expect to be stopped and tested anywhere at anytime.


This comes from Police Commissioner Maara Tetava who said his officers were out in force over the festive season.

CI News has received complaints from people who say police checkpoints were more like ushering areas, with breathalysers scarcely used.

However, Tetava says officers used their speed radars and mobile patrols to target speedsters.

“We also used our excess breath alcohol machines and sobriety tests to target drivers under the influence of alcohol.

“These tools will continue to be used anywhere, anytime by our teams. So expect to be stopped and tested anytime.”

The major festive season operation for police began on December 21 and wrapped up on January 4.

Tetava said police were split into two teams, team members comprised of non-sworn and sworn staff.

Non-sworn staff, who are civilians, maintained essential administrative services such as drivers license issuing, finance and administration.

Sworn staff were deployed from the command centre to do prevention and enforcement activities, Tetava said.

“One of the biggest focuses for our teams was to tackle the contributing causes to crashes, which are carelessness, speed, and driving while under the influence of alcohol.

“During the Christmas period only two crashes occurred on our roads in Rarotonga and none in the Outer Islands.”

During the New Year period, no crashes occurred on Rarotongan roads which was unprecedented, said Tetava.

“Sadly, though some drivers continued to defy the safety message and the law by driving drunk and speeding.”

A few were arrested and charged and most of these cases will be dealt with by the court when court sessions resume, said Tetava.

However, CI News later received a report from police who said 28 drivers had been forbidden to drive any motor vehicle after they were caught drink-driving.

Of these, five were arrested for exceeding the prescribed limit and have appeared before the High Court and have been disqualified from driving any vehicle for 12 months.

Tetava said his officers dealt with a couple of assault cases, noisy parties, domestic disputes, a couple of burglaries and dishonesty cases but ‘not much else’.

“Full credit goes to the teams who worked and to those in our communities both locals and visitors who heard and complied with the safety message and our law.

“Mention must also be made about the outstanding contribution made by our police volunteers in Puaikura and Takitumu – They gave up their time with their families and friends to work with us because of their desire to keep their communities safe.”