They’re all what Road Safety Council president Brent Fisher describes as “accidents waiting to happen” – and they are all still major concerns for the council.
Following the arrest of five drink drivers over the weekend, Fisher says council members are very disappointed at what he describes as continuing levels of irresponsibility on our roads, with drink drivers heading out not thinking they’re not going to get caught, and failing to comprehend that they could even kill someone.
Drink drivers are not the only road users the council are still seriously concerned about, and now they are appealing to the public to become more responsible about safety.
The sight of people riding motorcycles while holding babies on their back with one hand is something Fisher says he personally can’t bear to watch, and he says he has look away.
“If you love them, buckle them in. That’s the message we want to get across.”
He says, children riding on the backs of trucks and not sitting in the tray is still an everyday illegal occurrence.
“You can see on the weekend, with kids (riding) on the backs of trucks. I’ve put photos on Facebook discouraging people, but no-one seems worried about it.”
He says there are no excuses for ignoring the council’s warnings.
“It’s not an accident if you haven’t done what you should be doing to look after your children.
“That’s not an accident, that’s just something that happens because you’re negligent.”
Fisher also says the carparks at shopping centres in Avatiu, and especially in Puaikura, with increased traffic to the Bluesky office, are prime examples of accidents waiting to happen.
“Cars there have to back-out onto the road and into the path of oncoming traffic,” he says.
Fisher says the council has also made a formal complaint to police about a mechanic on the island who is issuing “dodgy” warrants, without fully completing the required safety checks, or attending to required repairs.
And they (police) have done nothing about it.”
Fisher adds, “the council is also very frustrated with government, that they are mucking around with trivial issues such as having to get funding to improve the roads, and not addressing other more serious safety concerns.
“We’ve even got funding from Jetsave Travel to paint the road markings in town, and they’ll pay for the paint.”
But Fisher claims Infrastructure Cook Islands has done nothing in response to their request to get the job done.
On a more positive note, he says, he is grateful to the Ministry of Health for funding the council’s safety signs around the island, including a “Better late than Dead” sign in Muri, “Speed + Alcohol – Dead Ahead” in Nikao and a “Families that helmet together stay together” that were put up in July.