A meeting was held today with Minister Nandi Glassie, Minister Albert Nicholas, representatives from Minister Teariki Heather’s Office and relevant stakeholders to discuss the proposed Road Safety Strategy and safety helmets for motorbike users.
“Today was an opportune time for all to get an update on the work that has been undertaken by Police, Health, government officials and stakeholders in August this year on improving road safety, the next steps needed and how we politicians can support the proposed changes,” said Minister Nicholas.
The meeting clarified that a comprehensive road safety strategy that had been developed in August 2015 was ready for consideration by Cabinet. The strategy outlines a 5-pronged approach addressing road safety from a holistic approach including improving physical safety of the roads, improved safety by road users and effective road incident crash response.
The strategy would enable the establishment of a new multi-stakeholder Road Safety Committee with the first priority item of business on the issue of compulsory wearing of helmets.
“I am pleased to see that this new Committee includes representation from the Office of the Opposition as this may facilitate quicker decision making at the political level rather than waiting for Parliament to sit to discuss this very important matter”.
“By the time we go to Parliament in the New Year, I hope it will be with a consensus approach through the work of this committee on compulsory wearing of helmets”.
Officials from the Police, ministries of health, infrastructure and internal affairs and representatives from the Road Safety Council, Cook Islands National Youth Council and Teimurimotia Fire Brigade were present at today’s meeting.