Minister Crockwell Hosts Road Safety Summit

February 11, 2015

The Minister of Tourism Development and Transport Shawn Crockwell hosted the Road Safety Summit today [Feb 11] at the Elbow Beach Hotel. The Summit addressed road safety challenges on Bermuda’s roads.

This half day summit was attended by approximately 40 stakeholders, including the Minister of Health Jeanne Atherden, Senator Jeff Baron, Permanent Secretaries and representatives from other government Ministries, members of the Opposition, the Bermuda Health Council, local insurers, law enforcement, municipalities, CADA and the Road Safety Council.

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During the Summit there were two road safety presentations including “Road Traffic Collision Statistics & Bermuda Police Service Road Safety Strategy” by Inspector Robert Cardwell from the Bermuda Police Service and “Truth and Consequences” by Dr. Joseph Froncioni.

A spokesperson said, “The Summit was held under the theme, “How do we make Bermuda’s roads and Road Users safer?”. It was an inclusive call to stakeholders to form a Road Safety Coalition and to engage in dialogue for solutions that will encourage a change in road user behavior, reduce road fatalities, decrease road collisions, and encourage compliance to road traffic rules by road users. The Summit concluded with an open forum discussion.”

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Speaking at today’s summit Minister Crockwell said, “Road safety is a responsibility that I take very seriously. It is indeed a priority for me and my Ministry, and I am very concerned about the significant amount of road collisions and fatalities that Bermuda is experiencing.

“We have a dynamic group of individuals here today participating, each of us with a role to play. I trust that we are able to stimulate a wide variety of ideas amongst us and that we can explore these ideas as a group to have a positive impact on our roads.

“Now is the time for us, as a group, to explore what we can do differently; what can we do that we have not done before to make our roads safer? How can we effectively encourage better drivers’ behaviour and responsible driving?”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Good morning and thank you all for being here today.

As the Minister responsible for Transport, it is my pleasure to host this very important summit and I am encouraged by and grateful for your participation.

Road safety is a responsibility that I take very seriously. It is indeed a priority for me and my Ministry, and I am very concerned about the significant amount of road collisions and fatalities that Bermuda is experiencing.

Collisions on our roads have a lasting impact on the entire community; families are generally the ones tending to those who are severely disabled as a result of a serious collision; post care in a lot of instances is a tremendous financial, mental and physical burden – some patients requiring extended stays in the hospital.

Fatalities are final. They are devastating and traumatic for family, friends, colleagues and our community as a whole.
Today marks the beginning of a considerable change in how we address road safety issues; at least that is our intent. We have a dynamic opportunity to introduce significant change … change that will benefit us all.

And we have a dynamic group of individuals here today participating, each of us with a role to play. I trust that we are able to stimulate a wide variety of ideas amongst us and that we can explore these ideas as a group to have a positive impact on our roads.

What has been occurring is extremely troubling for a community this size and we can all agree that there is an urgent need for a serious commitment to reducing the extraordinary amount of collisions and fatalities; we must take immediate action, which is why we are all here today.

Road safety in Bermuda has been a serious topic for discussion for many years. It should be, our road safety record is deplorable . . . and it has been for a very long time.

We have discussed the issues of speed, poor driving habits, inattention, driving under the influence, using mobile devices while driving … there are any number of things that result in collisions.

What we have not been able to do, is to find a solution that has had a major impact on this problem. We have not been able to reduce the number of road collisions and road fatalities.

Now is the time for us, as a group, to explore what we can do differently; what can we do that we have not done before to make our roads safer? How can we effectively encourage better drivers’ behaviour and responsible driving?

How do we reduce speeding, and eliminating this third lane? How do we change the peoples’ mind-set of always being in a hurry to go ‘nowhere’ and then exhibiting road rage when you get in their way!

Yes, we can all agree that it starts with all of us ‘slowing down’ and paying attention. We all know that, in fact, the wider driving population of Bermuda is very aware of the problems and the solutions.

The challenge is, getting everyone on board to get involved and to take personal responsibility – every time some-one gets on a bike or gets into a car, we must convince them that they are to drive responsibly, with care and caution, and obey the rules of the road.

Not an easy task – if it were we would not be here today. However, I am optimistic that this summit is the catalyst for change. I would like to see us, at the end of the day’s session, come up with recommendations for immediate reduction in crashes and fatalities.

I encourage open and honest discussions on the key issues.

  • promoting road safety & awareness
  • addressing road infrastructure challenges (road maintenance and conditions)
  • suggestions on legislative amendments to improve road safety
  • road safety management (alignment of road safety policies and challenges)
  • safer vehicles on the road (size of vehicles/heavy vehicles, etc)
  • Innovative technology for road safety
  • driving tests and examinations
  • in-attentive driving
  • speeding
  • using a mobile device while driving
  • taking unnecessary risks
  • poor judgement
  • lack of adequate driving skills
  • driving without care, caution and consideration for others
  • a total disregard for the rules of the road
  • AND DRIVING WHILST IMPAIRED – this is a major problem. Is it a myth or a fact that impaired driving is a key factor in road collisions on this island? We do know that it is a culture that needs to end.

I for one am looking forward to hearing your presentations, ideas and suggestions. Dr. Froncioni I am sure, will offer plenty of insight into the impact of road collisions on the community. Inspector Robert Cardwell, of the Bermuda Police Service, will discuss Road Traffic Collision Statistics and the Bermuda Police Service Road Safety Strategy.

Once this group has had the opportunity of hearing the presentation on the Bermuda Police Service strategic plan, we should consider expediting certain initiatives from the plan.

I can assure you that my Ministry and this Government is committed to doing whatever it takes within the budgetary constraints.

In closing I would just like to say that let’s spend the time we have together today focused on solutions.

When we leave here today, let’s leave with solid recommendations for the immediate reduction in road collisions and fatalities.

Thank you.

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Comments (12)

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  1. stunned,,, says:

    the missing question: how do you make people care about or value their own lives let alone other users of the roads?

    none of the above considerations matter to people who just don’t care; not afraid of death and are prepared to leave family, children, loved ones behind.

    we see these folks ride and drive every day without fear of the consequences…now what road safety council?

  2. On de Hill says:

    We must not stop until we find the right approach to this issue. Too many Bermudians are being negatively affected by road collisions and accidents. I m glad to see a collaborative commitment to a national crisis. Well done.

    • JUNK YARD DOG says:

      @On de Hill

      Rule Britannia, it is all about power.

      I hate to load an already loaded deck,however there are hundreds of problem with no solutions,it is not about going fast on our roads,it is about people and dissatisfaction, you know the song ” I GET NO SATISFACTION”, this is when a country turns to civil disobedience.

      Do you not see the writing on the wall.

      We pay the highest license fee on the planet and import duty greater than first cost value of some better cars,no wonder they call Bermuda a millionaires paradise.

      There are hundreds of problems facing us, one of them is that we have no money or what we had went to other Grand projects.

      Repair of our infrastructure and cleaning our beaches gets shoved on the back burner.

      You have to ask your self why we have become a divided nation on on virtually on all different levels.

      Bermuda in my opinion has become the island of “No” we live in an island prison where the inmates get to run the show, we have to get a permit from big brother for virtually everything.

      Your politician come looking for your vote and that is the last you see of them for 4 years.

      This country needs to change its attitude towards its people.

      Never put your hands in another mans pocket .

  3. WhistleBlower says:

    Great ideas however the first issue that needs addressing are road conditions and standards for repaving after trenching. As a moped rider I am constantly dodging potholes and uneven surfaces.
    Can we please FIX the roads first?

    • David says:

      Correct. Someone needs to be fired at W & E for the so called new tarmac near Devonshire Bay.

  4. @stunned – in my humble opinion, the first step would be admitting there is a problem and more importantly to the powers that be – TRY using REAL proposals that seek to change the mind set INSTEAD of investing in deft slogans and catchy ads THAT look nice and FAIL to address the REAL CORE Issues – as a matter of fact ask the current head of Road Safty Council why he has YET to make his mark UNLIKE former Chairman Dr Froncioni – then go to BPS ABOVE Media Relations and ask where their REAL Priorites are – silly ads won’t get your message across and its it more than obvious that The recent THINK Campaign is not only a waste of time and money – it is indicative of a country in DENIAL! Hence the term – DE-NILE ‘ainlt just a river in Egypt AND we all know the alco-analyser don’t work outside of POLICE RECREATIONAL CLUB EITHER! Quote Me!

  5. Charlly X says:

    Yup ! Can the minister responsible give us his job description ! The Road Safety counsel lol !!! Common sense aink so common ! The way we use the roads and govern them ! Hence the # of accidents ! Else for the use of those rumble strips on eastbroadway ! Just put up a speed camera there or police it better duh…. !!

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    A nice little get together of mostly a bunch of highly paid civil servants spending a day in a rented hotel banquet room to say nothing that has not been said many many times before.

    How many tens of thousands did this little pow wow cost the taxpayer?

    The road lunacy will continue until some enforcement & meaningful penalties happen.

    • PBanks says:

      It’s bordering on hilarious. A bunch of suits are seen as the primary stakeholders.

      One would think the public are by far the biggest stakeholder of them all, yet we don’t even get informed of or invited to this “Summit”.

      Ho hum.

  7. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    They invite the wrong people to the party !

    How about offering some incentives?

    Surely, you know about the carrot and the donkey !

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      How about incentives? Yes. How about further discounts for those of us who have had decades of no insurance claims? How about further loadings on base premiums on those who a crashing into things every year?

      How about set speeding fines? First offence on say, 55k, not much. We all slip up. Second offence within a set period, double the fine. Third offence within set period, double the fine again, & so on.

      If a vehicle has outstanding fines connected to it due, no insurance, no relicense. Familys with multi driver cars are going to have to police themselves if they don’t want to lose their transport.

  8. IslandChicken says:

    CADA and government you have this completely and utterly wrong. With regards to drinking and driving, people drive home drunk for one reason only – there is no reliable transportation – FACT.

    You need to come up with an alternative for people that have been drinking, stop laying the blame on people being irresponsible. After a few drinks at night it can be difficult to get a cab in town or from someone’s house, it is extremely expensive and many times they do not go in your direction. In the USA and Europe it is much easier to get home at night and not use your car.

    We need to come up with solutions. I don’t have the greatest but I offer a few:
    A bus or mini bus service that takes people home late a night, maybe just one late one each night.
    A service similar to UBER that’s reliable and affordable.
    A reliable ferry to and from dockyard at night.

    Here are a few examples of ones overseas:

    http://www.drunkrescue.com/

    http://www.scoot2you.com/chauffeured-cars-brisbane

    This one is great and perfect for Bermuda. You call the service, they arrive with a little mini scooter, put it in the back of your car, drive you home in your car and then drive off with their scooter. Not only are you home safe but you have your car the next day.

    People will always drink. You need to come up with alternatives rather than only solution I have heard, breathalyzers, come on CADA and gov.