Day Of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims

November 18, 2019 | 1 Comment

[Updated] Minister of Tourism and Transport Zane DeSilva is holding a press conference this afternoon [Nov 18], and we will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 14-minute replay is below

Update 6.35pm: Minister of Tourism and Transport Zane DeSilva said, “Good morning everyone and thank you for attending,

“I am pleased to be joined today by the Chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, Dennis Lister.

“Welcome.

“Many of you will know that yesterday was World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims or WDR. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Life is not a car part’, and speaks to the fact that you can easily replace a car part, but a life, is irreplaceable.

“WDR is traditionally held on the third Sunday of November each year to remember the many lives lost and millions injured on the world’s roads, and the many families, friends and others effected.

“The fact that today is now Monday matters not, as the significance of that day matters every single day of the year.

“The issue of Road Safety continues to be of concern in Bermuda. Annually, thousands of road users are involved in traffic collisions and we are not spared the loss of lives on our roads.

“It is likely that almost everyone listening to or watching this press conference has been impacted by the loss of a loved one or injury resulting from a road traffic collision either on our roads or in another country.

“This Government remains committed to reducing the number of road collisions resulting from travelling at high speeds, drink and driving and carelessness on our roads.

“In June 2018, the Road Safety Plan, entitled Operation Caution was launched as a road map to combat the issue of road collisions in a systematic and collaborative way. The goal being to curb unsafe road behaviors resulting in safer roads and a safer Bermuda. We also launched regular roadside sobriety checkpoints across the island, which has proved effective in curbing the incidence of drinking and driving in Bermuda.

“Despite our success, we still have a ways to go to reach our goal of a 25% overall reduction in road traffic collisions and a 25% reduction in toad traffic fatalities.

“As we enter the last months of this year, many of us will begin planning for the fun and festivities to come. Many will begin their Christmas shopping, looking for places to hide gifts from their children, husbands and wives, friends and extended family.

“Sadly, there are many in our community who will look on the holidays with sadness and dread. For it will remind them of what they have lost. The voices they no longer hear. The smiles they no longer see. The hugs and kisses that no longer warm their heart and soul.

“As we enter this holiday season, I want to remind the public. No! I implore every single member of our community, to take the necessary precautions and use the upmost care and courtesy when travelling on our roads.

  • Be alert to pedestrians and ready to give way.
  • Be aware of the actions of other road users.
  • Look in your rear and side view mirrors while riding or driving and before making any maneuver.
  • Clearly indicate well in advance of pulling to the side of the road or turning off the main road.
  • Avoid suddenly turning, slowing down or stopping for reasons clear only to yourself.
  • Remember that although you may be trying to be helpful or courteous, other road users can not anticipate your sudden urge to stop and give way to traffic or make unexpected maneuvers.
  • Please consider your actions on the road and how it impacts other road users.

“Most importantly, we must slow down and stop drinking and driving.

“Speeding and drinking and driving are the highest contributors to road traffic collisions and fatalities.

“Over the coming holiday season, I ask that you make every effort to stop speeding and refuse to drink and drive, and if you must drink, drink responsibly. Plan ahead and either have a designated driver or catch a taxi home.

“The public will recall last December when the Bermuda Road Safety Council Chairman distributed the Designated Driver Buttons. Those buttons are not just for the holidays. Restaurants, bars and venues across the island will recognize and welcome the Designated Driver Button year round. The Designated Driver will be guaranteed at least one free non-alcoholic beverage at that venue when they wear the button on their chest. The button allows businesses to easily identify the Designated Driver and afford that individual the benefit associated with the important responsibility of saving lives.

“As the Minister of Tourism and Transport, it is my responsibility to continue reversing the trend of dangerous driving practices and increased traffic collisions on our roads.

“I am committed to making this happen, but I cannot do it alone. We need to change the mindset of our culture to where it’s not okay to have a few drinks and drive home. To where friends don’t allow friends, after an evening or night of drinking, to drive home.

“No one wants to later learn, that during that fateful drive, their friend or loved one’s life was lost in a fatal traffic collision.

“The doubt in your mind as you to think back and wonder, “Were they really okay to drive”, or “Would they be alive had I made them catch a taxi home” could haunt you the rest of your life.

“The Holidays are not yet upon us, but I ask that you start today. If you truly care about your friends and family, when you see they have had too much to drink, make a conscious commitment to tell them ‘No! You Can Not Ride Your Bike Or Drive Your Car Home!’

“Only when we are all committed to change, will we be able to prevent the senseless loss of life on our roads and fully embrace the World Day of Remembrance 2019 theme of ‘Life is not a car part’.

“Thank you.”

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  1. hair says:

    Everyone needs to slow down. Constance over takers will end up at the undertaker… smh

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