Cook Islands Police media liaison officer Trevor Pitt has said parents were “the driving force” behind bad habits and carefree attitudes towards road safety in this country. He said parents’ attitudes were being picked up by drivers at a young age.
“The casual attitude towards driving on Rarotonga is picked up at a very early age, especially when there is no controlling influence from a parent or guardian.
“It’s no wonder then, that many adults continue to flout the law when it comes to driving.
“Speeding, carelessness, and drink-driving are dangerous high risk practices perpetuated by drivers of all ages.”
His comments came after a 13-year-old was caught riding a motorbike with no registration plate, no warrant of fitness, no annual license, no muffler and whilst underage.
“Police received a complaint about the youngster driving around in the evening on Sunday, and the motorbike was confiscated,” Pitt said.
However, the youngster was not the only traffic offender apprehended by police at the weekend.
Pitt said a drunk driver was seen driving erratically on the backroad in Ruatonga towards Tupapa.
The white double cab truck was reported as driving all over the road, narrowly missing hedges and power poles. Police officers were unable to locate the driver but have since identified the registered owner.
“Early Saturday morning, police responded to a motor vehicle crash in Betela where a motorcyclist had collided with a hedge,” Pitt said.
The driver was admitted to hospital overnight and police said alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident.
Saturday afternoon saw another motorbike collision at the St Joseph’s Road intersection.
“This time a woman motorcyclist was struck from behind by another motorcycle,” Pitt said.
The woman sustained minor injuries to both her shoulder and legs.
Police are investigating the incident as the cause of accident is being disputed by both drivers.
On Sunday morning a man was left lying on the road following a hit and run incident near Chilli’s Bar in Tupapa. By the time police arrived, the other driver involved in the crash had fled the scene.
“An ambulance was called to attend to the victim, who was unable to move and was bleeding from the head,” Pitt said.
Another incident saw the owner of a car flee the scene of a crash in Titikaveka.
Pitt said a silver Toyota suffered severe frontal damage after it clipped a coconut tree. Police said the registered owner had been found and a suspect identified.