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Half road deaths are older

Friday 29 May 2020 | Written by Jonathan Milne | Published in Crime

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More than half those who have died on Cook Islands road in the past five years were aged 35-plus – putting paid to claims that only young people die in bike crashes.

New figures released by Police show there were 26 deaths on Cook Islands roads from 2015-20, and all but one of those fatalities were on motorbikes.

Of those, 24 were not wearing a helmet, and one was wearing a helmet unstrapped.

Nobody died wearing a strapped helmet.

Alcohol was a factor in 16 of the 26 deaths, most of which happened in or around Avarua from Friday to Sunday.

Three of those who died were aged 48-plus, and eight were aged 37 to 47.

Fourteen of those who died were aged 16-36 including father-of-two Chris Woods, 35, and three other men who have died this year.

The youngest was Mona Ioane Jr, who died aged just 14 in a head-on crash.

That crash, which also claimed the life of Amit Kumar, 28, was the final impetus for Prime Minister Henry Puna to introduce changes to the Transport Act.

The law changes have reduced the breath alcohol limit from 400 to 250mcg, and banned the use of handheld mobile phones and headphones while driving.

And from June 26, anyone motorbike driver or passengers not wearing an approved helmet will be liable for a $250 fine.

REST IN PEACE

January 3, Kavera: Mike Wood, 35, married father-of-two

January 26, Pue: Mona Ioane Jr, 14, and Amit Kumar, 28

February 22, Mangaia: Ngatokoitu Junior Toko, 24, father-of-one

May 3, Arorangi: Male, late 20s

ROAD FATALITIES 2015-2020

26
deaths

25
on motorbikes

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24
no helmets

1
unstrapped helmet

0
strapped helmets

-----

16
alcohol-related

-----

10
11pm - 7am

18
Friday to Sunday

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21
Te Au O Tonga (town district)

4
elsewhere in Rarotonga

1
Mangaia

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1
0-15 yrs

14
16-36

8
aged 37-47

3
aged 48+