Cabinet To Discuss Road Safety Measures

January 19, 2013

Cabinet will be discussing measures to improve safety on our roads, Minister of Tourism Development & Transport Shawn Crockwell said today [Jan 19] following the deaths of two young men in 24 hours due to road traffic collisions.

A 25-year-old St George’s man, who has not been officially named yet, died following a cycle collision in St George’s at 2am this morning.  His death was the third road fatality of 2013, following after the death of 31-year-old Haile Matthews yesterday, and the death of 51-year-old Andrew Peniston on January 6th.

Minister Crockwell said: “This is truly tragic to lose two young men on our roads within just 24 hours. I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of these young men on behalf of the Government and every one in Bermuda.

“We have now had three deaths and countless accidents on our roads in just the first three weeks of 2013. This is simply unacceptable and we all must work together to put an end to these tragedies.”

The Ministry will continue to advocate for improved safety on the roads through the Road Safety Council, public awareness and programmes like Project Ride, said Minister Crockwell, who added: “The Cabinet will be discussing measures to improve safety on our roads and working with the Bermuda Police Service to reduce the frequency of road accidents and fatalities that have become a blight on our community.”

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  1. Weekend News, Links, Photos, Videos & More | Bernews.com | January 21, 2013
  1. .... says:

    Increase speed limit to 55k (so ppl aren’t trying to over take the slow poke goin 35 all the time). Crack down on drunk driving!

    • Formidable Deviant says:

      Simple. a big percentage of deaths occurs at 2am, 3am, because we have a drink driving culture here. Set up random breath tests and see what happens. We have more police per population of any western country, it’s still a pretty easy gig here, so why not?

      • windwater says:

        Yeah the deaths do happen early in the morning. Alcohol impairs driving. It’s so easy to fall asleep and drive your car off a cliff or into the other lane and cause a collision. Maybe users of alcohol need to be reminded at the end of a function that driving under the influence can cause death or a suspended license if you are caught. A public safety message could be played or simply a warning from the deejay once the party has ended.

        The government could definitely aid in promoting awareness and post signs throughout Bermuda. And also have random police checks. But with whatsapp and BBM people will find ways to avoid the stops since nobody wants to go off the road.

        I for one always remember not to speed or drive drunk because I can still see the crosses were my friends have died from vehicle accidents. A simple reminder would work wonders. Nobody wants to end up in a coffin.

      • Just Us says:

        Then everyone will change their drinking pattern and drink from 8AM to 5PM like the police do.

      • Saucydog says:

        Have to agree about the drinking culture. SADLY it is prevalent and accepted routine by many. Would venture to guess that if the powers that be wanted to step up on random tests it would capture a large number of offenders, enough to tie up the courts easily. Doubt the system is brave enough to really crack down.

  2. Choir Boy (Original) says:

    The quality of driving and the regard for other road users has been on the decline for many years. Bermudians are quite simply some of the worst drivers you’ll see anywhere. The speeding is out of control, and DUI is still considered a sport.

    As a young man I lost my licence for doing 32mph (51k) as a first offense. Now they don’t even charge you for less than 64k and hardly anyone get put off the road for speeding.

    I was in court recently (just observing of course) and the judge ordered the clerk to dismiss everyone who’s speed was 63k or less. I heard it with my own ears – I was there. It was unbelievable.

    There used to be a mandatory 3 year off the road if you were caught doing 64k (40mph) or more. Today it is just a joke.

    • Eugene Tatem says:

      There needs to be a getting back to the old days of enforcemet,and atlease a one year off the road for 40mph, it needs to be done starting yesterday.

  3. Limey says:

    Increase official speed limit to 50 kmph for main roads, and have 35kmph for school areas, residential roads and Harbour road. Enforce these speed limits, if you go over 50 your off the road. At the moment the unofficial speed limit is about 55 with ppl knowing if you go near 60 you will be pulled over. That’s why 50 kmph is a good idea, it’s not too fast but it’s not too slow and therefore should be capable of being adhered to. Remember if the speed limit is 50 kmph you don’t have to go at that speed, you can go slower.

    Also ban the 3rd lane, it’s dangerous and slows down traffic as cars have to brake to let idiotic bikes in who shouldn’t be overtaking, and then use more gas to reaceelerate instead of keeping at a constant speed. Make it illegal to do it and tougher penalties like your off the road for a year.

    Please no more speed bumps, they slow down cars, but it’s mainly the idiotic bikes who speed, and bumps are not a hindrance to a bike, you can still go over them at some speed!

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    Speed is not the problem. Most of the time traffic is too congested to do any speed safely anyway. IMO it is the dangerous & inconsiderate driving that is the reason for the crashes. Still very much in that mix is the inattention due to cellphone use.

    If slower speed is desired on the roads allow vehicles which are not capable of high speeds on the roads. There are things called side by side ATVs which are available street legal. The top speed of some of these is only about 35mph. They only seat two with storage in the back or four with no storage. One is already running around Bermuda.

    Get enough of these in the mix & traffic has to slow down.

    • A victim says:

      TD – I’m sorry, but the number one problem IS speed – sometimes that is exacerbated by road conditions, alcohol, loss of concentration, phones etc etc, but at the end of the day, speed kills. I am a victim of a head-on collision where a bike crossed the lane and hit me head on. He wasn’t just speeding. He was flying. Why am i the victim? Because I have to live with that image for the rest of my life.
      The ministers, the BPS, the Road safety council etc can not fix people’s mindsets. People HAVE to want to live. They HAVE to care about themselves and those who share the roads with them. Our society has lost any sense of ownership for our own actions.
      Roads should be safe for safe users who abide by the rules of the road. You can not legislate and make accomodations for suicidal people who don’t care about themselves or anybody else.
      For what it is worth, I think that they should raise the speed limit to 45K with a 5k grace limit. Driving over 50 sould be an automatic fine and lost points and over 55 should be off the road for mandatory 1 – 3 years – ALL VEHICLES. Over 60 and you get yourself a 5 year ban – no questions asked. Over 70 – 20 years.
      Further, I think that they should move to only allowing electric bikes to be sold and make a 50cc bike the max allowance for Bermuda for any gas engine. The “coolness” that comes with a souped up bike going at 70+kmh just has to be removed IMHO.

      • windwater says:

        Speed is not always the #1 cause of a collision. Actually driving too slow would put you to sleep.. And using alcohol increases your chances of getting in to an accident.

    • Reality Check says:

      You have GOT to be kidding! Even in heavy traffic we have motor cyclists riding around at incredibly high speeds. I see motor cycles being ridden at 50 miles and hour and more every day of the week.

      If we really want to get serious about reducing the carnage on our roads we need for Police radar out there every day booking anyone travelling at more than say 53 KMH. We also need to confiscate vehicles when anyone is convicted of travelling in excess of 65kmh.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Excessive speed in any given road condition is dangerous driving no matter what that speed happens to be.

        Vehicle jail. No there is a different idea. You can’t drive what you don’t have. If you inconvenience the other drivers of that vehicle you are making everyone suffer in you household.

        There is a large piece of land jutting out into Castle Harbour. Secure. Within airfield fencing. Perfect vehicle jail.

  5. Argosy says:

    Yes, it’s way past due to tighten up the penalties for bad habits on our roads. Bad habits equals bad driving. Our abysmal standard was fine for the 50s and 60s when there were only a few cars on our roads but, with modern vehicles and much more traffic, these standards are not appropriate.

    Let’s start with turning those pesky fog lights OFF! It’s a plague here now and absolutely ILLEGAL. It’s dusk, half the cars have NO lights on and the others have headlights AND foglights blazing.

    Go figure!!

  6. Believe It Or Not says:

    Bermuda has one of the most skillful riders and drivers in the world to be able to stay behind a yellow line WHEN THEY DO SO. But, they are the most careless, and lack common sense when it comes to riding and driving safely, and they have a blatant disregard for other road users IE: riding to the front of the line at traffic lights. If you did that in L.A they would tell you off for pushing in line..Also over taken and then expect you to slow down.

  7. Come On Man!! says:

    Talk Talk Talk. That’s all that’s ever done is talk. How about some action.

  8. Limey says:

    God don’t even get me started about the full beam/fog lights. I hate driving at night just cos I’m dazzled the whole time!

  9. DriverDontStopAtAll says:

    Install an ignition interlock in all cars or charge exhorbinant licensing fees for those who opt not to. Make it so you only have to use the breathalyzer after a certain time each night. Make it mandatory for all 18-40(?) year olds to have one in their car. Not sure if bikes can have them installed but they need them too. Increase fines for drunk driving ($10,000) and speeding ($1000+ for over 60). Take licenses away a lot quicker than current practices. Take them away for multiple years as used to be done. Prison time for repeat offenders/serious incidents. You have to make people fear the punishments in order to change their behaviour.

    Have a look at: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignition_interlock_device

  10. Road Toad. says:

    Start by getting rid of the head road safety. Increasing the speed limit is not going to make things better. Lunatics will still exceed it. Care, caution and courtesy make a lot of difference.

  11. Limey says:

    The other problem is tailgating, and you get that with bikes and cars! Some people really don’t understand the laws of physics, and that there is a reduced thinking and stopping distance! The number of times I’ve had an idiot up my backside and ivehad to brake harshly say for an emergency , and the idiot has to swerve into the middle of the road into oncoming traffic, just not to hit me. Here’s a list of things

    New reasonable speed limit – 50 kmph on main roads, 35kmph in schools, residential, and harbour roads
    Tougher penalties for speeding over 50 which are enforced.
    Make tailgating illegal
    Make the third lane illegal
    Make fog lights/full beam at night when not required illegal
    Have new better traffic school for first time offenders
    Repeat offenders, harsh penalties off the road.
    I don’t like it but if it comes to it have speed cameras on sections of the islands faster roads, I.e. ferry reach by the airport, road between flats and shelly bay, mcgalls hill down to collectors hill, north shore road in Devonshire etc, they are ugly but nonetheless they have killed speed in the UK

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Make fog lights illegal altogether. It’s meteorogically impossible ofr us to get dog here. Ban them.

      • Argosy says:

        They already are illegal! The Motor Car Act limits lights in front of a car to two – not four. Also, such lights must be more than two feet above the road line.

        The police either don’t know the law or simply don’t enforce it!

        No surprise there!!

  12. top gear says:

    There are basically 3 different groups of drivers on Bermuda’s roads right now.

    1) Those who have grown up in an environment without any regard for rules , law and order , or respect for the safety and well being of others.

    2) Those who see group 1 getting away with it and are tired of being the ‘good guys’ without reward so they participate also but can probably control themselves if they really have to.

    3) Everyone else who because of groups 1 and 2 just try to get off the road as quickly as they can because it’s a nightmare to be there any longer than one has to be.

    Electric bikes ? Already been done . They weren’t successful because they weren’t fast enough or noisy enough. Cultural thing maybe ?

    Alcohol is NOT the only mind altering substance that people are driving under the influence of. Bda is probably the recreational substance abuse capital of the Atlantic. Test for everything , and stop assuming that only booze is the cause of accidents late at night (or anytime )

    Stop living in denial that only the bikers are the problem. I see more atrocious 4 and 6 wheeled vehicle drivers every day than I do motorcyclists (and that’s saying something).

    It used to be illegal to have factory installed fog lights wired to work on new cars …is it not still so ?

    There are only TWO TCD certified and legal license plate styles . Ban everything else. They’re as obvious as the nose on your face . Are the police blind ? ?

    The complete and utter brain dead idiots who drive trucks and oversized cars/suv’s on the eastern section of Harbour Road ..
    It seems that the majority of our truckers have not figured out what the posted signs mean, and again, where are the police , playing tiddly winks and eating doughnuts ?

    Finally , not to be banal , but if outright ‘speed’ was the problem then hundreds of people would be dying on the German Autobahns every day. Just saying it’s ‘speed’ over simplifies and generalises the issue.

    • Voter says:

      My previous new car came with fog lights, but only the rear one had to be disconnected “in case someone thought I was braking if it was switched on” This is the one I would have preferred to keep.

      I believe I used my fog lights properly 3 times. Once in heavy fog by Devonshire Marsh, and twice during torrential rain, as my car was a color that disappeared in heavy rain. This is where I would have liked to have had the rear light for safety reasons. I used to be one of the morons driving with them on at night not realizing how they affected the vision of oncoming traffic until it was pointed out to me quite forcefully how bad this was, so apologise for my actions 15 years ago.

  13. All due respects to Minister Crockwell in the concerns that the Road Safety Board must meet to see what can be done in respects to the three road fatalities we have experienced over the past three weeks almost.
    As a member of this island, I regretfully announce that having meetings n discussions certainly will not curb the impact of accidents n road deaths; as talk can be good; but when one chooses to turn a blind eye n deaf ear, isn’t much anyone can do to stop whatever happens. We always seem to be a day late n a dollar short, especially when these things occur. We can talk until we are blue in the face; yet we still wind up with these serious heart breaking incidents, that traumatizes our community for just that space in time n when we look we return to the same mode until we have to deal with another sad issue.
    The Police have to do their jobs to do as well; as to serve n protect our population; however they are not running a pre-school or nursery n we must be held accountable for the actions we choose.
    So meetings, discussions, booking under the influence, due care n attention maybe with all good intentions; but if u take the horse to the trough, we certainly cannot make the horse drink. In other words, the whole population knows what is expected of them when it comes to the roadways; but how they choose to manouvre their vehicle n actions upon these roads, lies solely with each person. They DO know that with their choice upon these roads, there is that possible consequence that has to be answer one way or the other. They either take the cautious road or be stopped by police or have an accident or end life. There is not anything that the RSC can do when people have their own agenda. And in their agenda, it is do or die.
    What hurts the most is these ideas come up after the fact. Politics has no presence in this matter as it doesn’t save lives either. However the onus falls on everyone that choose to ride or drive. Even those folk whom choose to suddenly stop short to let some one out of a gate can cause someone to loose their lives as well. So there are many infractions that can cause havoc; it those who choose to do otherwise whilst controlling a vehicle n not paying strict attention.
    Many things have been happening for many moons n has not ceased or desisted. We as a community must stop being in a hurry going nowhere on this 21 mile island. Wish u something; but u certainly cannot stop that which has started; as we all know, the trouble with start is too stop. Take a look around our community n view that which has started n now we cannot stop it. From drugs to murders. Started; but can’t stop n it will continue to grow n fester. Until we work as one, we shall always be a separated two…….every man has that right to their destiny……..live in good conscience n the rest should fall in place. SELAH.

  14. OMG says:

    This is simple to fix quickly:
    Have the police more out on the roads sure they are busy with other things but when have you seen a radar check or road checks??
    . This means even at night. Do all of the police work only 8-5?????

    • @OMG I just wonder since when has the BPS open an over 18year old+ babysitting service. By your comment, u r not even sure what the hell the police do to protect you n everyone in this island. They cannot be everywhere, everytime. People MUST stop thinking that they can be above the law. They are not Steven Seagal n he isn’t above the law either. So if one chooses to make their bed hard, then they must lay in their bed hard or see the undertaker. No disrespects to the 3 lives lost. One must be well aware of how they will get from point A to point B n when in doubt, figure it out……call someone or stay where u r until the fogginess dissipate. Police can only do so much. They are not here to babysit offenders but to serve n protect. We must figure it out from the time we leave home until we get back. Strange, u seem to want more policen but when they pull you over, they are the worse group u have ever met n curse them out after. Oh please! Can’t have ur cake n eat it too……act right is the solution to most problems….DAH!!!

      • Will says:

        500+ officers and they cant be every where at every time??? do the math…21sq miles..2.2 miles to a parish and 500 officers..i think they can be out…seeing as though there isnt many ways out of town, only one road to country after barnes corners, and one way out of dockyard..so yes they can be at these places every time at night.

        • Dee (Original) says:

          @Will you MISSED the point entirely!!! Why do grown a$$ people need the police to babysit their every move? First off all, I don’t even know if your figures are correct, but NOT all police officers are actually on a watch. There are many operational areas outside of traffic or the beat. Then take into consideration the 7 day/24 hour workweek. That cuts down on the numbers. Then divide it by the various districts. Then consider the other calls cops may get (domestic incidents, breaking and entering, etc) there is NO way they can be everywhere!!! People like you just shoot off at the mouth with no clue to how things work!!! At the end of the day it is about choices!!! I am sure you (as we all have) slow down when you see a police car, then pick up speed when you past them. It is an automatic response!!! However, some people just tear the a$$ out of it and clearly have NO value for their life and other’s!!! So having the police out will not change people’s behavior. If you want to be reckless, you will find a way to do it.

          • Will says:

            your assumptions are wrong..i do not ride a bike..im not stupid enough to ride on these roads with these fools on them…

            • Dee (Original) says:

              YOUR assumptions are wrong!!! Where did I state that you ride a bike? I said that people slow down when they see a police car, then speed back up once they pass. I never said bike, car, truck…..

    • OMG says:

      You guys have missed my point. The BPS do a great service and unfortunately have to be called to look at murders, crime etc. etc. so they may not have the resources to man traffic. As you well know just a visual presence on the roads will deter many but not the idiots. They have a law to themselves!!!!!!

  15. Will says:

    limit all future vehicles imported into island to do 40k

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Impossible unless adopting the use of vehicles as suggested above. Not likely. It requires out of the box thinking. Something Governments are not very good at.

  16. Johnny Boy says:

    You really have to look at these latest collisions, time of night, single vehicle accidents except one.. no third lane or bumper to bumper traffic..was there alcohol involved in any of these accidents? When you go on the roads anywhere you take a risk but it’s YOUR choice to ride and ride responsibly.
    It can’t all be put on the Police Service
    It’s an absolute tragedy that these lives have been lost..
    Condolence to all the families left behind,,,

    • Voter says:

      They also have to man the airport (in other countries there are transport police – completely different from regular police – who do this). Take out your senior officers, clerks, mechanics, officers on court duty, on vacation, sick, guarding Government House, then divide into your 4 shifts, and then your number isn’t so high.

  17. Shy says:

    I think people forget that these thinhs are called accidents for a reason and that sometimes the people who die are not the ones breaking the law. There are alot less vehicles on the road at the hour these accidents take place so there are usually no witnesses to say what happened. But i’m on the road a good bit at that hour because of my job and there are many times where i have had to swirve or slam breaks because if other motorist or pedastrians. I could have easily hit a wall or flipped my car and died and no one would have known what happened. so sometimes people may be doing the right thing and still be the ones to suffer.

  18. I'm just sayin... says:

    Not having working fog lights on your car? You will faill TCD

    As mentioned above most of the deaths don’t happen due to the “third lane” they happen in the hours of the day when traffic is lightest, unfortunatley personal choice comes into play here, speed or under the influence.

    Those of us who grew up in the Bermuda of the early 80′s should remember an entire generation decimated by going to jail for minor traffic offenses, dont bring it back!

  19. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    What is there really to discuss ,when fools are intent on creating mayhem on the public roads ? There is a segment of our society who live and ride/drive as if they are invincible . It’s a wonder that more are not killed on our roads . Overtaking on blind corners , overtaking on the inside , blowing through red lights , disregarding speed limits .
    Discuss … Let’s talk about that extra $5 that responsible people are made to pay for uninsured drivers . Discuss … Well I’m Disgusted !

  20. Will says:

    whatever they do i just hope it isnt more ‘laws’ and ‘legislation’ to be passed as we all know words on a paper mean nothing. physical action must take place instead of spending months squabbling over how illegal something is going to be!

  21. Triangle Drifter says:

    In consideration that nothing is going to change anytime soon in legislation, enforce the existing laws, particularly with regards to dangerous driving, whether it involves speed or not, & make sure the monetary penalties are more than stiff enough to pay for the salaries & equipment needed for that enforcement.

    Make the guilty pay for their policing.

  22. Anon Ymous says:

    There is no actual road / riding test in BDA to qualify for a bike licence (other than 2 mins of riding round the keyhole / cones and stopping at the stop line) – does this have any bearing on bad riding? Discuss.

    • top gear says:

      Just the same way someone ‘passes’ a car or truck test . Once over the individual goes out onto the streets and displays complete lawlessness.
      Stupidness on the roads is not limited to bike riders or people under the influence of only booze.
      *Discuss*

  23. Xman says:

    So many times Man and machine could be a bad mix.
    When operating a motor vehicle such as a Motor Cycle the human beings habits and mind set begins to take over,
    but what we must realize is that accidents of any magnitude can happen from a series of expected and unexpected events – tire blow out, locking the breaks to hard, going to fast, dipping to low, unseen object on the road,another
    driver not paying attention, texting on a cell phone, talking on a cell phone, Listing to music with headphones while riding,
    going sleep or too sleepy to respond, High from drugs,or under the influence of alcoholic drinking just to name a few.
    My feeling is that no type of safety structure or special rules put in place is going to stop vehicle mishaps because
    man is always going to abuse and test the limits of motor vehicles no matter what type,power,make,or how fast.
    If man fails to obey God that what chance does the Road safety Council have,.

  24. Brad says:

    If you’ve been drinking or doing drugs and you CHOSE to put the keys in your ignition and drive, consider yourself DEAD. If by some chance you make it to your destination, consider yourself LUCKY…this time. YOUR CHOICE.

  25. tired of the petty people says:

    How about the ambulance crews, ER staff and doctors/surgeons who have to fix these lunatics, often in the middle of the night. Usually the ones causing the crashes are uninsured, so the Drs do not even get paid to be up with a bunch of drunk idiots in the middle of the night.

    Furthermore, consider the families get a distressing call and other totally innocent law abiding drivers and other road users who are put at risk.

    But I guess people do not consider this when they are drinking / driving recklessly.

    ENOUGH – just enforce the road laws, set up road blocks for substance testing – it works all round the world. ENFORCE!

  26. Dee (Original) says:

    People need to know their limits and take personal responsibility for their actions. Row, row, row ur boat’s comments were spot on. You can make all the laws in the world, that doesn’t mean people will obey them. You can have a million police officers out, people will still take a chance. I personally limit myself to 2 drinks when I go out. I know from past experience you can be in a bar drinking and feel perfectly fine, until you step out and that fresh air hits you. If I feel sleepy driving, I will find a spot and pull over and refresh myself. We all need to use common sense and adapt better habits and not rely on the police to do it for us. Whose life is it after all?

  27. second says:

    Please do not forget to include the STATE OF OUR ROADS in your discussions.

  28. argo says:

    Can anyone tell me the responsibility of the Road Safety Council and Road Safety Officer because for the life of me I don’t know what they do. I hear more from CADA then i have ever heard from the council or officer. But the officer seems to spend more time on CITV than anything else if that is the case give them a job there.