The mandatory helmet law making it compulsory for everyone riding a motorbike, scooter or electric bike to wear a helmet will be officially enforced from tomorrow, October 1, 2020.
Anyone – whether driver or passenger – failing to wear an approved safety helmet while riding is not only breaking the law, they are also risking their own safety and exposing themselves to a greater risk of head injury should an accident occur.
Health ministry Te Marae Ora asks that all our people take care to obey the law and protect themselves from injury while riding on our roads.
Please wear an approved safety helmet whenever you ride a motorbike, scooter or electric bike, and ensure that any passengers you take with you also wears a helmet.
Helmets save lives. This year alone there have already been four deaths involving motorbikes or scooters on Cook Islands roads. Last year there were two motorbike driver fatalities. Neither driver was wearing a helmet.
A total of 633 people suffered road traffic injuries over the three and a half years from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020. Of these 633 people, more than 500 were on a motorbike or scooter. Only 59 were recorded as wearing a helmet.
Please, be sensible, obey the law and protect yourself from injury – always wear your helmet while riding on a motorbike.
The new law – which is an amendment to the Transport Act 1966 – now requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets or face a fine of $250.
In addition, the Transport Amendment Act 2020 has also lowered the prescribed blood and breath alcohol limits for drivers and prohibits the use of mobile phones, headphones or other similar devices while driving.
While applauding enforcement of the new helmet law, Secretary of Health Dr Aumea Herman says there is “still much work yet to be done to mitigate avoidable and unnecessary loss on our roads”.
“I look forward to working with road safety stakeholders to continue to progress this work.”
Drink driving, speeding and other reckless behaviour on our roads also continue to be contributing factors towards an unnecessarily high road toll in the Cook Islands.
Don’t take the risk – and don’t let your loved ones risk their lives either. Wear your helmet and make sure those around you do this also. Slow down, don’t drink and drive, and be sensible on our roads.
We can all play a part in saving lives and working towards our road safety vision for zero deaths on our roads.
ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486