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Grace period to get helmets

Friday June 19, 2020 Written by Published in Local
Cook Islands Motor Centre staff Tamarangi Junior Tamarangi shows some of the approved safety helmet in stock at their Panama outlet. 20050631 Cook Islands Motor Centre staff Tamarangi Junior Tamarangi shows some of the approved safety helmet in stock at their Panama outlet. 20050631

Those who have been prevented from buying helmets because there aren’t enough in the country can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Police Commissioner Maara Tetava has announced an extended grace period until July 31.

But Cook Islands Police are encouraging motorcycle riders who are already using helmets to continue to do so and those who haven’t got a helmet to make sure they give themselves good time to buy one.

The new legislation, Section 86A of the Transport Amendment Act 2020, making helmets compulsory for all motorbike users, was set to come into effect on June 26.

But police plans to enforce the new law have been pushed out to start August 1, due to a lack of stock on Rarotonga.

Raromart said in a public notice to hundreds of customers, who had paid deposits, that stocks would not be on shelves until July 24 at earliest.

“Our order was placed with the factory in China on March 20, but this factory was forced to close for a few weeks due to the coronavirus, hence the ultimate delay of these helmets arriving in our store.”

Officials were advised of the situation on June 5.

Anyone who had placed orders and paid deposits in good faith could get a full refund.  

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt confirmed importers had advised the police of further shipments scheduled during July.

As a result, Police Commissioner Maara Tetava was directing officers to apply a grace period to the provision.

While the Transport Amendment Act 2020 still stands, the amnesty will run until midnight of July 31 2020.

“Motorcyclists currently wearing helmets are encouraged to keep doing so, and those still requiring one are urged to ensure they obtain a helmet in good time,” Pitt said.

The law in respect to helmets will then be enforced as of August 1 2020.

Anyone caught riding without a helmet after this date will be subject to a $250 fine and police will exercise the right to inspect the helmet to make sure it meets safety standards.