A day after the conclusion of the Drink Driving Education Programme, four motorcycle accidents occurred on Saturday night, one being fatal.
At around 9.20pm that night while heading home, I noticed a little crowd gathered in the middle of the road near Tex Mart Store in Betela.
It was pitch black, except for the light from mobile phone torches inspecting someone on the road.
Intrigued, I parked my bike and when I got closer, I saw a man laying still on the road. People thought he was dead until his leg moved and he tried to stand up.
The man had a motorbike accident and was unable to move from the road. The concerned locals, who got to the scene first and called for an ambulance and police, advised him to stay put.
It took me by surprise, but one good hearted local woman had parked her car down the road and turned the hazard lights on. She began to direct traffic to the back road.
People living nearby came out of their houses to see what was happening. We all waited for the ambulance as the man lay helpless on the road for over half an hour.
It was quite stressful moment for all of us.
Although there were no visible injuries on the man, we were concerned about internal injuries he may have sustained from the crash.
The Betela crash was one of the four accidents that occurred that night. One of those accidents having resulted in a death. The paramedics, Rarotonga hospital staff and police had a busy night.
Questions about the capacity to attend all these accidents – three of which happened within an hour – is an important one. But more important is how we can clampdown on the increasing crashes and fatalities on our roads.
Executive member of the Road Safety Council Brent Fisher said earlier this week that it only takes one drink to impair your brain, but still we believe we can drink and drive safely.
The culture of over drinking is to blame. Those who want to go out and have a few with friends and families need to take responsibility and choose to wear a helmet or call a sober driver to take them home.
Despite regular public safety messages about drink driving, it is still the most common cause of road accidents and deaths in Rarotonga. Let’s work together to make our road a safer place for all users.