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Vehicle crashes on the increase

Thursday September 07, 2017 Written by Published in Local
An accident in late May saw an elderly man taken to Rarotonga hospital with broken bones and other injuries after a rental car pulled out onto the road and collided with his motorcycle. 17052324 An accident in late May saw an elderly man taken to Rarotonga hospital with broken bones and other injuries after a rental car pulled out onto the road and collided with his motorcycle. 17052324

The number of motor vehicle crashes happening on the island is becoming a serious concern for Cook Islands police.

 

There were four motor vehicle collisions between Friday and Sunday alone, and this, and a significant increase in motor vehicle crashes last month has prompted the Cook Islands Police Service to take a fresh look at how they deal with road safety enforcement.

A police incident report revealed motor vehicle accidents in August had reached 31 - one for every day of the month. 

July saw a lower number of reported motor vehicle accidents, with just 19 incidents requiring police assistance.

Statistics based on police incident reports show crashes around Rarotonga were up by 63 per cent over the month of August, compared to previous months.

Cook Islands Police media liaison adviser Trevor Pitt said a deeper analysis of incident reports showed that as could be expected the more congested traffic areas were more prone to crashes.

He said the general town area registered 11 accidents, with Tupapa recording six, while five occurred in the Nikao area.

The accidents appeared to be split evenly between day and night, Pitt added.

“About half of all the crashes resulted in injuries to varying degrees. And almost all of the crashes involved motorbikes – either solo or in combination with other bikes, cars, and pickups.

“Three were due to hitting dogs.”

He said the high level of crashes, even the most minor – was a major concern to the police.

“Despite warnings, the focus on stringent testing, checkpoints, and prosecutions; too many drivers on Rarotonga are demonstrating disregard for road safety and other users.”

Speed, alcohol and general carelessness were common causes of accidents, he said. 

Pitt says the police service would be looking at additional strategic monitoring and control over road safety, and “enforcement of all the legal requirements”.

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