4 Oct 2017

Rarotonga launches first radar speed sign

11:32 am on 4 October 2017

Addressing the issue of motorists speeding in the Cook Islands has taken on a new dimension with Rarotonga launching their first radar speed sign this week.

A main street in Rarotonga

Photo: RNZI / Mary Baines

The signs are considered "traffic calming" devices to warn drivers to slow down and follow the speed limit rather than to penalise them.

Studies showed that radar speed signs had an 80 percent impact on a driver's behaviour.

One of the five districts in Rarotonga, Arorangi, received the first sign and our correspondent Florence Syme Buchanan said that it was strategically placed in a high-risk spot.

"Arorangi has the biggest stretch of road that is straight, you know, people tend to speed along that one stretch of road in Rarotonga, but you know speed is an issue for our roads especially amongst our young people and then when you don't have them wearing helmets, its no wonder that we have some of the highest figures for deaths on roads from motorbike accidents in the world."

Local businessman Henry Napa was behind the idea of road safety improvement idea.

He applied for and received funding from the government of India and worked closely with Cook Islands police and the government.