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Teen injured in Nikao motorcycle collision

Saturday 23 March 2024 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Crime, National


Teen injured in Nikao  motorcycle collision
A 16-year-old female motorcyclist sustained a facial injury after colliding with a van on the main road at Nikao, Friday morning March 22, 2024. POLICE MEDIA/24032209

A renewed call has been made to crack down on uncertified helmets following a crash yesterday morning involving a 16-year-old female motorcyclist who sustained a facial injury.

The motorcyclist, a Tereora College student, collided with a van while riding with a pillion passenger on the main road at Nikao just after 8am.

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said the motorbike reportedly crossed into the oncoming lane while heading towards the seawall. Mandatory blood tests were requested from both drivers.

Rarotonga resident Temu Okotai, who arrived shortly after the accident, said he witnessed the student lying in the middle of the road.

He also noted that she was wearing a “fake German hat”.

“I hope and pray she was not seriously injured but also made me really angry that these hats have become the normal crash helmet worn on the island by our local people especially, young people,” Okotai said.

“I believe a person already died in a road accident on Rarotonga last year due to head injuries and she was wearing one of these useless and dangerous ‘German’ hats.

“The question I have for our police department is: aren’t these hats illegal as crash helmets? If so, what are they doing about them. If not, why aren’t they making them illegal because they are a danger to our people especially our young people. Also many of our people are just wearing the helmets without strapping them on.”

Police spokesperson Pitt clarified that there is an approved German-style helmet available, but it must have the official safety certification stamp.

“The fakes ones won’t have that and it would be a whole scale exercise to check every single one,” he said.

Okotai further commented on the police response time.

“Myself and others at the accident scene were immediately on our phones to the police and the hospital about the accident. Then I came to my office and about 10 minutes later a police vehicle with the siren on, went past, no doubt, on the way to the accident. I calculated that it has taken the police at least 20-30 minutes to react to this accident. To me, this is a rather slow reaction to an emergency!”

Pitt responded by stating that three Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) police officers arrived “very quickly” at the scene, ahead of the uniformed officers from town who were tasked with managing the accident site.

Pitt adds road incidents are expected to climb in the coming months despite a slow start to the year.

“The motor vehicle crashes so far this month stands at 11,” he said.

“Carelessness and higher volumes of traffic are the main contributors to crashes on Rarotonga.”