“Important All Road Users Work Together”

September 12, 2014

Following the recent traffic incidents involving pedestrians and motorists, Minister of Tourism Development & Transport Shawn Crockwell has reminded the public that it is “the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians to ensure each others’ safety.”

Three pedestrians have been injured in traffic collisions in a one week span, with a woman struck while walking in the Pitts Bay Road area yesterday, while two 79-year-old female pedestrians were injured in two separate incidents; one in Devonshire on Sept. 10th, while the other occurred in Southampton on Sept 4th.

“It is important that all road users work together to reduce the incidents of collisions with pedestrians” stressed Minister Crockwell. “Motorists need to be conscientious when approaching crosswalks as well as when approaching walkers on our roads. And likewise pedestrians need to ensure their safety by taking extra precautions and paying close attention to motorists.”

“Road safety is an issue that keeps this Ministry busy. It remains a priority as we have an unacceptable high number of collisions on our roads and too many people losing their lives. I cannot stress enough that we must all do our part here. We must all take responsibility in ensuring that our roads are safe.”

The full statement from the Ministry is below:

In light of recent traffic incidents involving pedestrians and motorists the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, the Hon. Shawn Crockwell, JP, MP, would like to remind the public that it is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians to ensure each others’ safety.

“It is important that all road users work together to reduce the incidents of collisions with pedestrians” stressed Minister Crockwell. “Motorists need to be conscientious when approaching crosswalks as well as when approaching walkers on our roads. And likewise pedestrians need to ensure their safety by taking extra precautions and paying close attention to motorists.”

Motorists are reminded to drive responsibly and always make good decisions while using our roads. Slow down, use care and caution, do not drink and drive, pay very close attention and always obey the rules of the road.

“Road safety is an issue that keeps this Ministry busy. It remains a priority as we have an unacceptable high number of collisions on our roads and too many people losing their lives. I cannot stress enough that we must all do our part here. We must all take responsibility in ensuring that our roads are safe.”

The Bermuda Road Safety Council has provided the following safety information for pedestrians as well as motorists.

As a pedestrian:

  • First – find a safe place to cross
  • This is where there is space to reach the pavement on the other side. Where there is a crossing nearby, use it. It is safer to cross using a zebra or pelican crossing and always activate the light, if available.
  • Otherwise choose a place to cross where you can see clearly in all directions.
  • Stop just before you get to the kerb
  • Stay alert – do not be distracted by phones or music
  • Look all around for traffic and listen
  • Traffic could come from all direction, so listen well because you can sometimes hear traffic before you see it.
  • If traffic is coming, let it pass
  • Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time to cross safety.
  • Make sure that drivers see you before you cross.
  • Wait until the traffic has come to a complete stop and allow you to cross.
  • When it is safe, go straight across the road – do not run
  • Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross, in case there is any traffic you did not see, or suddenly appears. Look out for cycles traveling between lanes of traffic. Do not walk diagonally across the road.

As a motorist:

  • Be patient, especially with older pedestrians who need more time to cross the road;
  • Always look for pedestrians, especially when turning;
  • Remember, stay alert and slow down on residential streets and through school zones

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Category: Accidents and fires, All, News

Comments (38)

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  1. Truth is killin' me... says:

    This is all common sense which has been lacking a lot lately throughout the island.

  2. mj says:

    the speed limit is 20miles per hr. /35 kilometers, I shouldn’t get whiplash trying to cross the street on pedestrian crossing .the speed limit on the island is twenty miles per hour because we have winding roads..if we went speed limit less people would be severely injured..I know its difficult but its the limit…Can’t blame pedestrians..Accidents are unintended circumstances…

  3. Terry says:

    “Road safety is an issue that keeps the Ministry busy”.


    Minister of NO Ships in St.George and Unreliable Transport in other areas……………………………………

    I need a rum……..

  4. serengeti says:

    1. Zebra crossings should all have zigzag lines for 25 years either side.
    2. It should be illegal to park within those lines. This would help ensure visibility for both the pedestrian and the driver.
    3. It should be illegal to overtake within those lines.
    4. I’m kind of surprised he didn’t reiterate the fact that pedestrians ALWAYS have right of way on a crossing. It’s kind of a fundamental issue.

    • I concur with you “serengeti” on the relevant points you bring forward. The Minister Shawn Crockwell should have emphasized them points, especially the pedestrians having the right-of-way on the crossing.

    • serengeti says:

      sorry, I meant 25 yards either side of the zebra crossing…

      And I entirely agree with Dr Francioni. The Minister’s statement is backwards. It puts all the onus for avoiding accidents on pedestrians, and it fails to make the point that the driver must give way to the pedestrian on a crossing.

    • D&D says:

      There should be a speed bump before the crossing. Who puts a speed bump as a crossing? Weird! A speed bump gives motorists time to slow down, but it’s too late when you Actually get on the speed bump the person is walking on. SMH!!

  5. Joseph Froncioni says:

    The BRSC safety information for pedestrians and motorists contains 13 recommendations for pedestrians and only 3 for motorists. This is very misleading. While there is a burden of responsibility on the part of the pedestrian to be safe and vigilant when interacting with traffic, a much greater burden, on balance, lies with the motorist. It is the motorist who is at the controls of a potentially deadly machine and while unsafe actions by a pedestrian can result in serious consequences to himself, unsafe actions by a motorist can lead to harm to himself AND others around him. Furthermore, when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, it is usually the pedestrian who is the loser with little or no harm coming to the motorist in the vast majority of cases.
    It has nearly become the rule in Bermuda that motorists speed and drive while impaired with few real deterrents, and this on roads with a coefficient of friction that would be unacceptable in most developed countries. For these reasons, in my opinion, it is motorists that are in much greater need of the BRSC’s advice than pedestrians.

    • got it says:

      The continual misguided thinking that speed is the cause of the many accidents on island needs to be addressed. Improper speed yes, but most accidents are caused by poor driving habits and skills. This also applies to drink driving accidents where poor driving is amplified with excessive alcohol.

      We already know the culprits who are a menace to our roads, these are the people we see continually in the media. So rather than continually discussing deterrents which would penalize many who are not the issue, selectively target and severely penalize those who are the cause of actual accidents. This would be a fair strategy and achieve far more in improving safety.

      • serengeti says:

        Speed is definitely a component of the bad driving here.

        There are other factors: inattentiveness, impatience, overtaking where unsafe, ignoring road signs, ignoring road traffic laws, poor driving skills. But speed is mixed up in it, for sure.

        You can ride a bike through Hamilton like a complete maniac, and there is very little chance the police will do anything at all.
        Yet in the past couple of months there has been carnage on our roads.

  6. Terry says:

    To a degree you are correct Mr. Froncioni.

    Remember your addressing your comments of sanity to Bermudians. Then again it has similar to all other countries and Cities.

    Irony is, it gives a definitive mind of “Laid Back”.

  7. Edward Cattell says:

    The amber flashing light at the crossings ,should be RED with the letters STOP in bossed then their will be error, also mount a CCTV camera so that all parties will be accountable for their actions .

  8. WhatHeSaid says:

    One big issue regarding the roads these days is the inconsistency with the pedestrian crossings. Particularly the zebra crosswalks.
    1. Yellow caution lights have been put in place at some of these, but not all of these.
    2. Not all pedestrians use these lights, especially in the day time.

    The purpose of these lights was to train drivers to notice the flashing yellow lights, noting that they needed to pay closer attention as someone was about to cross the street. However, when you are trying to train a new behavior to anything, you must be consistent. I pay attention to cross walks as a driver, however I will admit they I have become very reliant on these flashing lights. I think this should be addressed to help with some of the issues. Pedestrians should also HAVE to press the buttons day or night!

  9. Tony Hayward says:

    Ultimately, there is simply no respect by certain people who believe that the roads are their own personal racetrack. What exactly are the police doing to clamp down on this? They are willing to book people for not fully stopping at a stop sign, for third-laning in stationary traffic, neither of which is dangerous (but illegal, granted) but they appear to do nothing to prevent the ever-increasing amount of dangerous riding/driving. As an example, a bike pulled a wheelie pulling onto Reid Street yesterday, and I fully expected the police jeep that was right next to him at the time to turn around and do something. Nope, not a thing.

    If one of these fools hits somebody, am I really expected to stop and be compassionate?

  10. Cow Polly says:

    You can fail your driving test if you do not stop for a pedestrian who is waiting to cross at a zebra crossing, so ignorance is not an excuse. Can’t remember the bike test but if it is not emphasized then it should be.

    Also, I’ve almost been a victim of being knocked over on an elevated crossing because young riders like to speed up to them and take off to get air time. Sort of defeats their purpose actually.

  11. Varied says:

    More of the same from Min Trans. Lame. As someone in position to effect laws and guide policy, he’s been lacking.

    Agree with all the above points regarding putting more responsibility on pedestrians than the people in control of vehicles capable of serious injury.

    Serengeti’s 4th point needs to be in bold, if possible. How about the Minister stressing that people who strike pedestrians especially on crossings are subject to a heavy fine and road ban?

  12. Joseph Froncioni says:

    If you think blaming speed as the cause of road crashes is misguided, you need to bone-up on road safety research.

    • got it says:

      Inappropriate speed yes, speed in general no.

      If speed in general was as dangerous as you your “research” would like to suggest then the Bermuda police would be knocking over walls and rolling cars on a daily basis based on their daily higher average speed than the general public.

      What the police don’t do is tail gate, overtake on blind corners, drive with inattention etc etc.

      You can say the police are an example for the most part of how speed when done appropriately isn’t neccessarily dangerous.

      If you think otherwise take your chances playing chicken with an idiot overtaking on a blind Harbor road corner at 20MPH and let us know that works out for you?

  13. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    ok… in your words you say,”Furthermore, when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, it is usually the pedestrian who is the loser with little or no harm coming to the motorist in the vast majority of cases.”…i have experienced people f#@king texting on their freakin phones and jus turn and step off the sidewalk onto the crossing with out even looking, why?, because someone back in the twenties said pedestrians have the RIGHT of WAY!!!… this means, that if you are walking on a roadway a vehicle must stop if necessary until said pedestrian has safely passed by…it doesn’t mean that i have to stomp on my brakes and be rear ended and possibly cause more mayhem BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD POWER OVER THE UNIVERSE… Pedestrians…Please look out for YOUR life because no one else is,make sure it is safe to cross before YOU do so…i remember when i was young and my parents told me everyday to keep safe and PAY ATTENTION when crossing the street…it is not rocket science…people have become too, ummmmmmmm

    ps.i fergot to mention that i’m in no way shape or form addressing any of the recent occurrences, thanks.

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      OH!!…one more thing…if you cant ride a bike with earphones…then you shouldn’t be allowed to walk or jog on a public highway! I’m all for physical fitness n the right sources of nutrition, BUT…thats anowa subject.

    • Varied says:

      I agree that pedestrians ought to be aware of their surroundings and not caught up in texting etc while going on zebra crossings, however if a person is in a car/bike and something unexpectedly crosses their path, they should be in a position to avoid a collision (ie not speeding and paying attention to what’s in front of them). Think of it the same way as if a cat (or chicken!) darts across the road suddenly.

    • Creamy says:

      On a zebra crossing, pedestrians DO have right of way. The motorist must be prepared to stop. That’s the rule.
      No excuses.

      • Anbu says:

        But at the same time you pedestrians should look both ways before even stepping out onto one. Not just walk out whenever u want and expect us to stop on a dime. Its called physics. I dont care if youre doing 10 mph if u have to jam on brakes cause someone just walked out because they have ” the right of way” the vehicle does not stop immediately. The weight of the vehicle prevents that. Bikes are even worse to stop quickly because they slide even more when attempting an emergency stop. But on the real. Both parties need to pay attention. And for god sakes people if there is a perfectly good sidewalk to walk on use it! They r there for a reason

        • Creamy says:

          Of course pedestrians should look. Duh.

          But the vehicle should be able to stop. If you can’t, you’re going too fast.

      • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

        well YOU step out in front of a moving ton of steel because ITS THE RULE…Then get back to me with your results…you deserve whatever you get.

  14. Triangle Drifter says:

    We drive around in vehicles that cant even get into top gear because our speeds are so slow.

    Why do we have these vehicles?

    We drive around on an island where the vast majority of us are never more than a 1/2 hour from our destinations. Why do we drive around in vehicles designed for long distance & high speed comfort on roads more suitable for golf carts than cars.

    Why do we not, or why are we not at least given the choice to drive a vehicle smaller, slower & much more suited to our roads & speeds?

    With all of the crashes into stationary objects, with all of the rollovers & recently the inability to stop for pedestrians, it is pretty obvious the Bermudians can’t drive what the dealers are selling.

    There are plenty of small vehicles, golfcarts even, which would work on Bermuda roads. Many of us have seen them elsewhere on small islands & small communities being used as a very efficient alternative to the regular car.

    • Varied says:

      Probably because most of us prefer bigger, faster cars, for various reasons. The SUV boom has been huge in Bermuda, for example, even though our roads aren’t designed to handle the larger vehicles (and due to how our houses are set up right against the roads in most places, we can’t exactly take on the project of widening them).

      So we’re stuck, unless it becomes cool to get a smaller car, or our public transportation becomes extremely efficient and reliable. Which means we’re stuck.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Not suggesting that everyone be forced to have a class A, or smaller, vehicle. Merely suggesting that the option be there, along with the incentive of a greatly reduced licensing fee for having such a small vehicle incapable of going over 55-60K.

        Also understand that there are those with a genuine need for a larger vehicle for hauling kids around for example.

      • Heavens says:

        It’s easy: 1) raise the taxes on SUVs (duty and license) 2) lower the taxes on small cars. I’d also like to see 3) DOUBLE the parking fee for SUVs because they take up more than the allotted space making it near impossible to get in/out if you find one has parked next to you! These SUVs were another brain storm idea from Dr Evil. That man’s legacy will haunt Bermuda forever.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          In a way we already have what you suggest as far as the taxes go.
          The smaller cars with a lower FOB value have a lower tax structure than the larger more expensive ones. And hence , the larger you go up in size the more exorbitant the license fees become .

          Believe me, I’m no lover of the SUVs either but allowing them in was to appease to the mindset of ‘I want ,I want ,I want ‘ without any thought to the environmental impact.
          Just another disguised ‘vote getter’ .

          If I needed a car and they were available I’d have a Moke. Perfect car for Bermuda as long as you’re fun minded and live a casual life style.
          No doors , a surrey top , lawn furniture for seats , minimal maintenance and based on the old Mini , thus economical.
          At least that’s what the one I rented in Barbados 30 years ago was like .

          • PBanks says:

            Only thing is that Barbados has 365 days of warm weather. Driving Mokes in February wouldn’t be fun at all.

            TriangleDrifter had a good point about SUVs being useful for larger families, but that said, the types of SUV we allowed into the island were often poor choices. We brought in one model of CRV and they were too long, so the option was to remove the fenders. Facepalm.

            And the less said about the Hummer, the better. Pure vanity.

    • Anbu says:

      Lmfao golf carts?! Get real

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      we have these vehicles because of the people who make the RULES that YOU must live by…not the drivers.

  15. There is a luxury duty on the mini cooper this could change!It seems to me to be the most sensible car on the road…no way is a car had at 20,000 supposed to be on the road at 65-70,000 dollars……all govt. Need do is drop the luxury tax and make it attainable!In my view to care really starts with a sensible duty on what would a.) make Bermuda a more attractive place to be,b.) make the roads safer by lowering the duty on desirable by size required to enhance safety.Why prevent safety?

    • Varied says:

      The new Mini Coopers aren’t as mini as they used to be. They seem awfully wide compared to the older models

  16. Come On Man says:

    why is it that these politicians seem compelled to make a statement everytime something happens? They are not anyone’s role model’s and no one is listening.

    • PBanks says:

      Especially when the statements are canned press releases. It would be refreshing for one of these politician types to speak from the heart and pledge to do what they can to improve things, instead of the same ol’ same ol’.

  17. Puma says:

    We have had a string of accidents,are there any ‘common nounages?