Jeffers Suggests Establishing Traffic Patrol Unit

January 9, 2015

[Opinion column written by Charles H. Jeffers]

The number of accidents on Bermuda’s roads, fatal and otherwise, has become a real cause for concern. This is not just an issue that is the burden of our elected officials, Government and Opposition and the Bermuda Police Service, but an issue that should be on the hearts and minds of each of us.

The question that can be readily asked is, “What can be done to change the dangerous course on which so many of our fellow Bermudians and residents are traveling?” It would be great if there were one solution or a series of simple solutions to resolve this vexing problem. There are not.

Slideshow showing some of the collision scenes in Bermuda over the past few years

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In the absence of a perfect solution, we offer an idea of establishing a Traffic Patrol that could be a step in the right direction. We view the Traffic Patrol as being an organization that relieves the Bermuda Police Service of the bulk of traffic control.

Examples are operation of radar, observation of traffic movement, attendance to accidents where there are no personal injuries, issuance of tickets for traffic offences and directing traffic when required. Very important would be the high visibility such a service would provide acting as a deterrent to those who are bent on flouting traffic laws and demonstrating a lack of courtesy and care for other road users.

With budgetary restraints in place, it is important that any proposed idea has a component of cost savings. Thus the Traffic Patrol, as we envision it would be made up of already trained retired or former police officers and current and former members of the Bermuda Reserve Constabulary. The personnel would be part-time and paid an hourly rate. The foregoing suggestions could also have the effect of reducing the overall size of the BPS.

These suggestions in no way reflect negatively on the good work that the BPS does in so many areas of law enforcement and community service in Bermuda. However, there is only so much that the BPS can do when the commission of serious crimes require a concentration of personnel and efforts.

- Charles H. Jeffers

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Category: Accidents and fires, All

Comments (9)

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  1. Sky Pilot says:

    Bermuda already has one,but you never see it patroling the roads.

    • Creamy says:

      So 19 accidents in 5 years? That’s it?
      In Bermuda overall there are 2,000 road accidents a year. So out of 10,000 accidents in that period, the Police, who might after all have to rush about once in a while, had 19.

      That’s under 0.2%.

      Just to put it in perspective.

  2. stunned... says:

    …were these vehicles travelling at 20 mph – the speed limit on impact because it sure doesn’t appear that way. i would hazard a guess that SPEED was a factor. no need to call in forensics, patrol units – 2 things plain and simple:

    1) People SLOW down
    2) Police DO your job.

  3. Y-Gurl says:

    I hardly think the BPS are in a position to establish a new division when the current divisions can’t keep pace with crime

  4. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Mr.Jeffers while I respect your valuable contribution, recommendations and solutions to Bernews and the public may I say that unfortunately in the next 30 seconds some where on the planet there will be at least 30 accidents admittedly some are preventable ,but not all.

    Every country has its set of traffic laws and penalties all designed with the goal of achieving safety on the roads. Aditional Legislation may not necessarily be the real or best solution.

    However !

    The responsibility rest solely square on the shoulders on the drivers of the vehicles.

    Cars, bikes, trucks, and vans don’t cause accidents.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~” People do.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There are unfortunately People out there who need come to grips with reality and drive responsibly with due care , consideration and commitment showing the up most courtesy to other road users ,sadly, we will continue to grieve the loss of family.

    A Story.
    Spend 2 hours or so looking at fish in a tank and you will see not one fish come to grief.

    The same is for Birds flying in formation , Horses on the race track, Ants in the kitchen and Bees in the hive, because there is order.

  5. “This is not just an issue that is the burden of our elected officials, Government and Opposition and the Bermuda Police Service, but an issue that should be on the hearts and minds of each of us.”
    I do believe Mr. Jeffers has stated it all right there in his sentence and one that must be given adequate attention if we are ever going to deter them who ride / drive with disregard to not only their lives but the lives of others as well :-(

  6. Prayerfu says:

    Thank You Mr. Jeffers.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    The underside of one of those vehicles looks showroom clean!!!

    Mr Jeffers, where have you been? Have you never been chased around the Island by the cycle squad on a Sunday night when you & your aceboys wanted to race? We knew some of the officers by name or nickname & they knew us. I don’t know if it was respect or fear, maybe both, but there was a line that we knew not to cross with them.

    More recently I remember a big crackdown on traffic offences. This was during the Swan UBP years. Well, that did not last for long. There was a great deal of wailing from the then opposition PLP that only a certain demographic was being caught. If a certain demographic is more likely to speed & drive like maniacs then I guess they are the ones who will be caught. Stop doing it & you won’t get caught. Very simple.

    Will there be howls of “They’re picking on me” again if the BPS starts a crackdown? You bet flashing blue lights there will. The BPS needs to grow a pair & get out there. There is so much bad driving out there it will be like shooting fish in a barrel.