Road crashes down to all-time monthly low

Friday 5 March 2021 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Local, National

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Road crashes down to all-time monthly low
PHOTO: File 18120520

Motor vehicle crashes have dipped to an all-time monthly low, as reduced traffic volumes and police checkpoints continue to hold incidents to a minimum.

The number of reported crashes in February was four – a monthly figure that has not registered this low in many years, according to Cook Islands Police Service.

The previous record low was six in April 2020 – the start of the impacts of Covid-19 measures, particularly the closed border.

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said mandatory helmet wearing for motorcyclists has had a significant positive impact.

The frequency of drunk-driving incidents is showing signs of dropping, Pitt adds.

“Police are also making a significant impact on minor driving offences, such as failures to maintain warrants and annual licenses, as well as speeding.”

Each month, up to a maximum of 40 people are being summoned to court for failing to pay their traffic fines within seven days. 

Last month, more than half of those facing court paid their fines only when summoned. 

“Drivers, who fail to pay are being charged and summoned to appear. Any failures will need to be explained to the court.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has also been credited for a significant decrease in the number of motor vehicle crashes last year compared to the same time in 2019.

For 2020, the motor vehicle crashes trended nearly 40 per cent below 2019’s total (235), and lower than the previous six years.

Pitt then said the Covid factor, which resulted in curfews earlier in 2020 and the reduced number of vehicles on the road, had been a major influence.

However, he said there was little evidence that driver behaviour had improved.