Government Road Safety Measures: Crow Lane

October 16, 2010

Minister of Works and Engineering Derrick Burgess has addressed a topic many locals have been discussing; the frequent accident spot located in the Crow Lane roundabout area. There have been numerous accidents in the general area over the years, some being fatal. Two of the ten road traffic fatalities this year occurred in the general area.

On October 11th, 31-year-old Earlston Kavon Bailey Smith died in an accident in the exact area, marking the second fatal accident in the area this year, following the death of 28-year-old Katrina Flood on June 12th.  The photo below shows a flower bouquet, with written tributes, tied to the Crow Lane bus stop after the unfortunate death of Mr Smith earlier this week.

kavon flowers crow lane

Both Mr Smith’s and Ms Flood’s fatal accidents occurred in the same general area, both were single vehicle motorcycle accidents, and both occurred at approximately 4am in the morning over a weekend.

Minister Burgess said that “One of the frequent accident spots identified in the recent Police report is the area from Corkscrew Hill, Devonshire to the Crow Lane roundabout.” He further explained safety provisions that the Government has recently taken to enhance the safety of motorists in this area:

  • Installed additional pole lights to improve visibility at night
  • Improved the elevation of the road to minimize centripetal motion towards the outside of the curve
  • Painted lines on both edges of the road to show the alignment of the road in dark conditions
  • Resurfaced some of 82 ft. of the immediate area of the junction with a nonskid surface to improve traction
  • Installed rumble strips to enforce slow down before the curve
  • Relocated the columns at the entrance of “Tamarind Hall” and the traffic light pole to prevent hard obstructions to persons who might lose control of their vehicles.

Minister Burgess also addressed other areas saying “A second frequent accident spot is the area of Middle Road, Southampton just east of Five Star Island. Currently, the Highways Section is undertaking road resurfacing along the S shape bend in this area. This new road resurfacing is to ensure that vehicles have adequate vehicular traction when travelling along this section of roadway. Also, stud reflectors will be placed along the road edge of this S shape bend along Middle Road. These reflectors will provide move visibility of the road edge to motorists and help to encourage motorists to travel more cautiously when travelling along this section of roadway.”

“At Barnes Corner in Southampton, another frequent accident spot, the road has been recently re-surfaced and new ‘reduce speed’ signs have been erected to encourage traffic calming – these new speeds signs indicate a maximum speed of 25kph on the bend.”

“Recently, we have also installed calming devices like rumble strips, speed humps and reduced speed signage in other areas of the Island, including the town of St. George and Flatts Village, in an effort to reduce speeding, undoubtedly a principal contributing factor to the unacceptably high incidence of traffic collisions in Bermuda.”

“The people of Bermuda are advised that their Government will continue its efforts to make our roads as safe as possible. Of even greater importance, however, is responsible behaviour whilst operating motor vehicles, in particular adherence to all rules of the road – the speed limit most importantly.”

CADA Chairman, Mr. Anthony Santucci expressed his sympathies to the victim’s families and said, “Statistics show that seven out of ten deaths that occur on Bermuda’s roads involve alcohol or drugs.” He continued on to say that “Our role at CADA is to encourage responsible alcohol behavior and to continuously remind the public that drinking and driving kills. There is no simpler way to say it. If you drink and drive there is an increased likelihood you will die or you will kill someone.”

Addressing the recent deaths, The Bermuda Road Safety Council Chairman said “The three deaths do send a clear message to motorists on the dangers on the roads of Bermuda. Ironically, most traffic collisions are largely preventable. Whilst we do not in any way suggest this was the case in of these recent deaths, most road traffic collisions involved one or more of the following elements; excessive speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, overtaking improperly and distracting driving (texting, eating etc.)”

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Comments (10)

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  1. Truth is killin' me says:

    Easy fix…save the Government and the taxpayers thousands of dollars in overtime worked by W&E. “Please Bermuda…SLOW DOWN!” Thank you and good night. Send the check in the mail.

  2. HAR says:

    It is very interesting to note that whilst Police accident reports and Coroner’s conclusions indicate a high frequency of speed and alcohol as contributing factors to ‘accidents’, we seek to fix the roads as opposed to increasing enforcement measures against speeding and driving under the influence!!

    I maintain that if this frequency of deaths were caused by any other means there would be a more direct attack on the root causes of the deaths. Come on Bermuda – lets get real!! It is time to more fully address our increased propensity to drink and then attempt to drive ourselves home – when will the useless killing stop?

    By the way, we should also make the connection with the recent article whereby Minister Roban has indicated that government is urgently seeking to provide a special facility for younger persons that have been injured through road collisiions and can no longer care for themselves. It would be interesting to know how much is being spent to cover all of these deaths and injuries, beyond the obvious emotional toll it takes on families, emergency responders and care givers.

  3. 1410 says:

    The problem is that the non-skid surfacing and the rumble strips are designed for cars and dangerous to bikes…and the vast majority of serious and fatal accidents involve bikes. They need to look at this further.

    • ok says:

      This Area of Crow Lane as you know they have widened it put numerous markings and signs. These are not the problem especially if you’re doing the speed limit. How many fatals happen in that area during the day? I would like to say not many. The common denominator in these collisions are speed and Alcohol. They dont mix. The legislation needs to change to give police more powers to check motorist to see if they have been drinking. At the moment in order for police to stop someone for the purpose of drink driving they have to first see tell tale signs first such as swerving. In Canada they have a great program called the R.I.D.E. Police set up road blocks in various locations and stop EVERY vehicle and talk to the drivers to find out if they have been drinking. If at that time, they (police) see tell tale signs of intoxication they give the driver a field alco-test. If they fail that then they are taken to the station to do the regular Alco-analyser test. We need that type of program in different locations and I think people would think twice about taking their vehicles into town if they intend to drink.
      Another good thing they have in Canada are Night buses. This way you can get a bus on the major routes and that is another option for people who may not have enough bus fair or are too drunk to drive. On the weekends Bermuda does not shut down at midnight so we should have the buses running longer than midnight. That is another option. It also doesnt help matters when you are in town on a weekend especially in the summer and there are NO taxis to be found when bars let out. Some people with good intentions end up driving drunk because they are waiting hours for a cab. When all the cabs are lined up outside the hotels.This causes people to risk it and take the chance in driving drunk. Bernews you guys should bring these questions up to the powers at be when you have press conferences.

      • ok says:

        taxi fair*

      • 1410 says:

        I agree with you, but my original points are valid. I’m a very careful driver, and I still find those rumble strips hazardous in the rain. The main problem is that the culture needs to change, but obviously it’s not that easy. I’ve lived away and seen the success of the programmes that you mention. Of course they don’t eliminate it, but it helps.
        I’ve experienced taxis refusing to take rides when they’re going all the way to one end of the island, or to a bad area, or for whatever other stupid reason. Buses here are useless after 8 or 9 even on a weeknight. We can say all this until we’re blue in the face, but it’s clear that no one is listening. Aside from alcohol and carelessness, that’s the problem.

  4. gms says:

    No amount of road works or redesigning will stop these accidents if road users continue to drive dangerously. All these measures to make the roads safer may have the perverse effect of increasing road accident rates since drivers will now internalize the safety improvements and drive faster.

    No road in Bermuda is explicitly dangerous if travelled at a speed appropriate for it. It is overwhelmingly down to the care and control of the road user.

    And then there’s the role of alcohol in these late night accidents…

    • Scott says:

      lol as some road safety people have said in the US, which would you drive more safely? a car made of dynamite or a car made of feathers and foam.

  5. Arthur Raynor - Atlanta says:

    Rumble strips work here in Atlanta. They are located at the approach to certain road junctions and they alert you to slow down and stop. I reminisce back to the 70′s when we used to say that Stone Crusher corner was the most dangerous road spot in Bermuda due to the high number of accidents and deaths at that location. The fact was and still is that Stone Crusher is one of the widest and clearest road spots in Bermuda. You can see it coming from about a mile in either direction. The accident/death factor in most cases was not the road, but the speed! As a fire service worker for 30 years, I have attended hundreds of accidents throughout Bermuda to back up my statements.