No penalties for breaking rules this time but things will change at the next Takai
Police spokesperson Constable Narita Viliamu Tahega has confirmed to BCN news that they will not be charging any of the people who ignored the rules during takai earlier this month however things will change because they will be implementing on the spot fines at the next Takai.
People who broke the rules on takai this year will be called into the Police department where they will be spoken to about road rules but that no one will be charged.
Niue Police will begin implementing instant fines from June of this year and will provide more information on the instant fines closer to June.
Constable Tahega said that the Police’s core function is to protect the community and during Takai time to protect all road users and the public and it is not their intention to ruin the fun of the event.
They are aware of some of the reactions to the rules mainly on social media, with some suggesting that the rules are waved during Takai. “Takai time does not mean ignore the road rules, you can still enjoy yourselves by following the rules”
Constable Tahega says that the traditionally the takai is a happy and fun time to welcome in the new year, but they have seen that people are taking more risks and perhaps misguided into thinking that the rules don’t apply during takai time.
Some of this risk-taking behaving and flouting of rules is obviously being done because of the effect it will have on social media but the Police is determined to enforce the rules.
According to the Police they have always enforced the law even on takai. The only exceptions are allowing the old bombs (vehicles without warrants of fitness) and motorbikes without their mufflers to be on the roads during takai times but all other road rules will be enforced as they have previously.
She said that a few years ago the Police conducted alcohol check points within village boundaries during takai and as a result they noticed a decrease in the number of drunk drivers on takai.
They encourage the public to enjoy takai time but be mindful of the rules and always think safety first.