2017 Christmas Road Safety Press Conference

Thu, 2017-12-07

Minister of Transport & Regulatory Affairs The Hon. Walter Roban, JP, MP: Good morning: Road safety is a very serious issue and I have a simple message for all drivers, but especially for young male drivers. Slow down. Our roads have no room for error.

Stop making other drivers react to your excessive speed. Many don’t have your highly-tuned reaction times. In addition…and this is something you will hear again and again today…do not drive when impaired.

Road traffic accidents are taking a terrible toll on Bermuda…and they mostly affect younger people in the prime of life. The number one external cause of death in Bermuda, (i.e. death that is not from illness or disease), is transport accidents at 34.8%.*

This is higher than the second leading cause, which is homicide, and the third leading cause, falls, combined.

In Bermuda, transport accident rates among males are nearly three times higher than the OECD average. In 2015, motorcycles were involved in close to 90% (actual figure 87.5%) of deaths due to transport accidents.

In fact, in 2015, Bermuda had the worst rate of injury in road traffic collisions of all 35 OECD countries.

I urge you to plan ahead at this time of year when parties are common. Think about and arrange transportation home in advance. Appoint a designated driver. Take public transport or take a taxi.  If you are impaired and you are at a friend’s home, stay over.

Don’t ruin your family’s holiday and possibly another family’s holiday with the stress of hospital visits or worse.

As the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, I can assure you that my Ministry supports the Bermuda Police Service, CADA and the Road Safety Council in this very important collaborative effort to save lives.

Thank you. *All statistics are from the recently released ‘Health in Review 2017’ document, which is on www.gov.bm/reports

Acting Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, Officer Responsible for Roads Policing: NOT ANOTHER ONE!

Statistically, over the Christmas Season we will lose another life on the roads, this will be in addition to the 14 lives already lost. Whilst not intended to sound morbid, the reality is - could this be you or your loved one?

As we reported already, in the period between Friday and Monday last there were 21 collisions. This saw people severely injured and hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit.

In the two weekends prior to this there were 7 collisions over each weekend. In light of the collisions we saw last weekend in comparison to the weekends before it is apparent that the Christmas Season is heating up already. Office parties and other social events have started.

The Bermuda Police Service Roads Policing Unit has increased road safety messaging on our Twitter account. To date we have over 600 followers. We are communicating out by posting our road safety messages, statistics and CCTV clips of collisions. Followers are invited to join Roads Policing on Twitter for a virtual ride along.  

In addition to maintaining our role of increasing awareness we also recognize that we have an enforcement role. That said the Bermuda Police Service will be realigning resources to ensure that we have a robust preventative policing presence on our roads. We will focus our energy on the most at-risk behaviours on our roads that threaten life – this includes dangerous driving/riding and impaired driving/riding.   

To Bermuda - Bermudians, visitors and our Guest Workers – do not become a statistic. Slow down, do not drink and drive, do not allow anyone you are with to drink and drive – take keys, it is worth it. Everyone will be missed be someone.

Ali Bardgett, Bermuda Road Safety Council Chair: The pain of the sudden death of a loved one on our roads is indescribable, I speak from experience. The aftermath for families and friends is lifelong.

You never get over it and live with that pain every single day.

The police can’t be everywhere, and the government is not to blame for you making the decision to speed, drink and drive, make that nip on your bike or do wheelies on a blind bend.

Take some responsibility and have some respect for yourself and other road users.

Go to the track if you want to do stunt riding, the public road is not yours alone and the danger you present to other road users is unfair!

Road Side Sobriety testing that the Government has spoken of recently will change the culture and attitudes.

We cannot afford to lose anyone else in 2017, we are at 14 already and the countless life changing injuries already suffered on the roads.

5 people every day going to KEMH for treatment following a collision - the cost to Bermuda is out of proportion to our size, scale and ability as an educated country.

When you get on that bike or behind that wheel tell yourself ‘Not One More’ and ‘I am not going to be next’.

Noah Brady-Soares, Junior Road Safety Council Chair: Good day. My name is Noah Brady-Soares, I am the Junior Chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council. I am here today to speak to my peers, in regard to making smart decisions while we are out riding on the roads.

I understand that we all may think we are “Top Riders”, and that nothing is going to happen to us while on the roads, but one never knows. Nonetheless, I would like to emphasize that when you get on your bike and you are wide-open down the road, just remember that if you get hurt, you are also hurting your family, as well as somebody else possibly.

Nobody likes to get a phone call saying their loved one has been involved in a collision. I understand that we may think rules are “stupid”, however they are implemented for our benefit and safety. We have all been there when a friend needs a ride home, and it’s just down the road, but on the way, if something happens and you are involved in a collision, or pulled over how will you feel.

While you feel that you might be helping, you are breaking the law and however innocent the act might be, the law is the law, and we must abide by it.

So, as we go into this holiday season we must be mindful that while we will be at parties with family and friends, we also need to remember to make smart choices, and if need be call our parents or a trusted friend for that ride, and not suffer any consequences later.