23 Oct 2007

Changes needed to reduce Cooks road accident rate, say police

6:29 pm on 23 October 2007

The Cook Islands police say changes are needed to reduce the rate of fatal road accidents in the country.

A bill will be introduced in parliament next month on lowering speed limits from 60 to 50 kilometres per hour, and introducing compulsory motorcycle helmets and breathalysers.

A select committee is looking into the issue and the police commissioner, Patrick Tasker, says the police support the bill.

"The fatal crash rate is about six per 10-thousand at the moment, which is extremely high. Most of those crashes relate to motorcyclists who are not wearing a helmet. The transport amendement bill is currently before a select committee. I spoke at a select committee hearing, where we lent our support for that [bill]."

Patrick Tasker says some accidents are caused by drink-driving, and the introduction of breathalysers would help police to better test for alcohol levels.