13 Jan 2016

Cooks road safety proposals to go to Cabinet

2:52 pm on 13 January 2016

The Cook Islands Internal Affairs Minister Albert Nicholas says he expects more public consultation will be needed on the issue of compulsory motorcycle helmets once it is put before cabinet.

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Photo: 123RF

Mr Nicholas is hoping the Road Safety Strategy report, which includes proposed changes to the motorcycle helmet laws, will be put before cabinet this week.

The strategy looks to address all road safety issues, including fixing up the infrastructure of roads and changes to drivers licences.

The current law states anyone driving a motorbike over 40 kmph must wear a helmet.

Mr Nicholas says according to the report, the favoured option is compulsory helmet wearing at all times, but there are other options being put forward.

"One of those proposals were age limitations, maybe compulsory from 16-25 or 16-29 compulsory wearing of helmets. Also, a time limit, for example from 7pm to 7am the next morning, one must be seen wearing a helmet."

Mr Nicholas says attendance was not high at public meetings on the issue, and more consultation may be needed.

"There are critics that claim that the helmet issue should be right across the board, I totally understand that. But on the same token, there are critics that claim that maybe the helmet issue be targeted specifically to the group of youth that's basically going on our roads."

Mr Nicholas says once the report has to be tabled to cabinet, the recommendation has been made that a road safety committee be put together.

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