Minister Crockwell Addresses Road Collisions

August 7, 2014

Today the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, Shawn Crockwell, addressed the recent spate of traffic collisions, one of which caused the tragic death of 51-year-old Melvin Smith.

Minister Crockwell said, “Without question this Government is extremely concerned with the amount of road collisions that have occurred over the past week and with the apparent correlation these collisions have with impaired driving.

“Everyone agrees that there is an urgent need for action. Personally, I find it very alarming that an Island this small can experience 24 road collisions over a four day holiday.

“I am in agreement with the recent comments that were made by CADA and Dr. Joseph Froncioni and I would like to assure the public that we are exploring all options to address this major issue of impaired driving as well as the other road safety issues – speeding, driving dangerously without care, caution or consideration for others and disregard for the rules of the road.

“The Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport recently completed exhaustive research on random sobriety testing and the latest technology for road side testing. In the very near future the Cabinet will be discussing the options emanating from this research with a view to amending the relevant legislation in the fall.

“It is our aim to introduce measures which will contribute to improved road safety. We hope to introduce aggressive initiatives to combat drink-driving because we recognize that we must address the real challenge of this entrenched culture of drinking and driving.

“There are many factors involved in road safety and no one measure or entity will improve this situation. Road safety must be a collaborative effort and we have to all work together towards the common goal of improving it. Government cannot do it alone. This has to be a unified community effort that must be tackled by parents, churches, schools and social organizations.

“Ultimately, each of us should be mindful of our own driving behaviour,” added the Minister.

“This past few weeks highlights our collective need to use every option available to reduce these tragedies on our roads. Too many lives are at stake and, as the Minister responsible for transport; I remain a committed road safety advocate.

“I will continue to make every effort to bring about initiatives that will reduce the incidents of road fatalities as well as those serious injuries that result from collisions.

“It should also be noted that in accordance with their mandate, the Bermuda Road Safety Council will continue to aggressively promote road safety. In addition to their current awareness and education activities, they have planned a number of initiatives to increase road safety awareness during the remainder of the year. Their focus will primarily be on drink-driving and speeding.

“In closing, I want to extend my deepest and sincerest condolence to the family of Mr. Melvin Smith and I wish all those who were injured in recent road collisions a full recovery.”

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Category: Accidents and fires, All, News, Politics

Comments (51)

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  1. Impressive says:

    I can’t believe that this is the best choice the OBA have for a Minister of Tourism?? Surely things are not that bad yet,, mercy mercy me..

  2. LiarLiar says:

    Bermudians love to drink…and drive

    • Kunta says:

      Now what about de ignorance with de Wedco/mini-bus fiasco !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      On top of de Jet Gate scandal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Vascola says:

      Exactly. One answer, random road blocks.

      Change the law, save lives, problem solved.

      • Kunta says:

        Ya right, and have de police outside de gate of de Rugby Classic, oh I forgot they’re part of de party animals too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Toodle-oo says:

          You are so predictable because you’re so transparent .

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    Whether they’re high OR drunk is only part of the problem ’cause not everyone is high or drunk all the time .
    The problem is we have a very large element who are simply out of control all the time . All day , all night as soon as they hit the road.

    You can put into place all the legislation you want .
    Only a much increased police presence on the roads is going to make a difference .
    Problem is, we just can’t deploy 80% of the PS to the streets .

  4. Ace girl says:

    Absolutely Minister! Needs to be done,but an age old problem. Deepest Condolences to the Smith family an awful accident for all concerned. R.I. P. Mr Smith. Cup Match was indeed a week ago, a more timely statement would have been advisable. The need for those road safety issues is now! Maybe collaboration with Dr. Froncioni would be helpful. Your Ministry is dragging its feet Mr. Crockwell.

    Now what about your other major issue, Dockyard? Surely not anotherweek for action! Words do nothing, pro-action is what is recquired.

    • Creamy says:

      There were announcements before cup match imploring people not to drive under the influence. Evidently they were ignored.

      The government can’t stop idiots from being idiots.

      But it can, and I hope it does, help to turn our culture against driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      I agree 100% Ace girl…I would like to add one thing. Have all watering holes cease serving them that have been drinking far too much. Often we see some behaving quite asinine and they need to be watched after being cut-off from being served and if necessary arrested and held until they are sober.

      • Herb says:

        thats a great totalitarion idea, arrest and detain citizens who have not committed any crimes.

        Bermudians need to read the Bermuda Constitutional Order

        It is against my constitutional rights as a citizen to be stopped by a Police Officer for no reason.

        Random road blocks are illegal under the constitution.

        Under the constitution I have a right to freedom of movement unless i have committed an offence under the law.

  5. Evie says:

    Well well well look who appears poof out of the blue SMDH everything’s better with OBA on it Hahahahaha

    • North West says:

      Where the hack he just come from? BeachFest?

    • Luis Suarez says:

      Evie, shut up.

      This is road deaths we are talking about, can’t some people leave politics out of death even?

      Get some class girl.

  6. J says:

    Until Bermuda comes to grips with impaired driving, we will get nowhere. Drunk driving is still considered a sport here.

    Other countries resolved this decades ago with random checkpoints. Friday nights on East Broadway would be a good start.

    Also, make it mandatory to attend classes before getting your licence back.

    This of course requires Bermuda to get off its butt and make changes.

    Ah well, I tried.

  7. Evie says:

    Well now they can go to the corner store Monday to Sunday and get firewater it’s only the beginning thanks OBA

  8. Tough Love says:

    My condolences to the Smith/Tankard family and prayers for the young man ( I don’t think he was under the influence).

    Min. Crockwell, how can you make a statement on this, yet ignore the Dockyard issue? Do you only talk when it makes you look favourable? I remember the interview on the Sherri J show where you threw former Premier Cannonier under the bus. You must speak to all the issues concerning your ministry, not just when it can’t be blamed on you.

  9. Ms. Poli Tician says:

    Minister Crockwell – what exactly are you going to DO? Pretty speech, but what are you going to DO?

    Good-for-little politicians, speaking gobbledygook. I am getting so weary. And the opposition is just more of the same gobbledygook, so don’t reply telling me to vote. For who? For what?

  10. Really? says:

    Even in tragedy people want to make it political. Very sad. This is a non-political issue that we all should work together to address.

  11. watching says:

    Will he address the mass confusion in Dockyard?

  12. PBanks says:

    It only took Crockwell until August of 2014, as Transport Minister, to talk about road safety, and even then it looks like another canned press release.

    Prove it, Shawn, show you’re really concerned and a ‘committed road safety advocate’.

  13. 3rdeye says:

    It’s not just Bermudians who love to drink and drive. This is a world wide pandemic. Alcohol is a very dangerous drug bottom line

  14. Hello! says:

    Why don’t you address the obvious problem of lack of public transportation and taxis? Anyone going to Soca vs. Reggae knew that they would be stranded there if they did not have their own transportation. It was nearly impossible to get a taxi that night. There should be buses available for large Cup Match related events. And taxis should be compelled to answer calls when they are working, so young girls do not need to get on the back of a stranger’s bike…

    • Creamy says:

      Sticking to two beers didn’t enter their heads then.

      • TGAOTU says:

        two beers is not the law. SOme people get wasted off of two beers. So it that sensible?

        • Creamy says:

          It’s more sensible than the “it was hard finding a taxi” excuse.

    • PBanks says:

      While having more late night public transportation (buses) makes sense in general, the call’s gone out for over a decade now, and it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.

      You could lobby event organisers to try to hire bus services after their event concludes, but frankly it’s not the organizer’s responsibility to transport people to or from their event.

  15. Alvin Williams says:

    Not word on the transportation mess up at Dock yard-pretty much says it all on the effectiveness of this government-blame it on the PLP.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Where does the Minister blame the PLP? He shoulders the responsibility for adequate transport for our visitors, and he has failed. The lack of a proper and adequate transport system after all these years of having the cruise ships in port is unforgivable and has to be sorted now.

      Then as Hello! says, where is the public transportation when large events are staged in Dockyard? Organizers should not be allowed to stage these events unless they agree to provide transport when they are finished.

      None of this is rocket science, but does need some management and common sense.

    • Luis Suarez says:

      Alvin, you can shut up too. This is no time for political points scoring.

      Get some class boy.

  16. Terry says:

    Road Collisions.

    Any f89ming out there?

    I need a rum.

  17. Robert says:

    Dumb, dumb,dumb,dumb,dumb,dumb,dumb,dumb,dumb,dumb !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Triangle Drifter says:

    Ineffective police. Ineffective courts. Do you expect any different driving habits?

  19. i and i says:

    Crock it well my bye…Crock it well…

  20. pressing the flush says:

    Drinking n Driving cannot be blamed on ANY Government or Minister from ANY party!

    The blame lies solely with the Driver of the Vehicle.

    Keep Politics and Race out of this!

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

    you people astonish me with your absolute daftness…”oh i’m going out and get drunk! so Govt. better make sure i get home safely!” The Problem Solver is YOU…take responsibility for yourself and stop trying to be babysat…everything that happens here you all blame the Govt! the govt. didn’t give birth to you…your mother did, so you are her and the families duty to raise you into adulthood, no one else…You all want a NANNY state??…then complain when they tell you how its gonna go…Bermudians are their own worst enemy…you better wake up and come out of that sissified state of mind that you all are stuck in…can’t even think for yourselves…and you want Independence??? within the first year you will be killing and eating your own…

  22. jaybird says:

    I agree with Toodle-oo, this is not just about drunk driving. I am mostly on the road between 7am and 7pm and the standard of behaviour on the road during those hours is horrifying – and presumably these people are mostly sober. Case in point I was driving down Front Street at about 5pm yesterday and could not believe the number of bikes that were careening along at high speed, ignoring stop lights and nearly crashing into other vehicles. What I did not see was even one single cop.
    While I appreciate that the BPS can’t be everywhere, the fact is that they appear to be nowhere. Really, just where are these cops all day??
    This is a chronic problem that goes back many years and what the OBA should have realized upon taking office was that new leadership of the BPS was needed to turn things around.

  23. Swizzle says:

    Bring in roadside sobriety tests NOW!

    • Herb says:

      Roadside sobriety tests are against our constitutional rights..READ OUR CONSTITUTION .

      We have a right to freedom of movement

      The police must have reasonable cause to stop a citizen

      It all there written plainly in the constitiunal order.

      • Creamy says:

        What if the police have reasonable cause to suspect you may be drunk or under the influence of drugs? There would be no constitutional reason why they could not have the means to test you immediately. In fact, that would be more convenient for the driver, assuming he or she is innocent.

        • Herb says:

          The police must have reasonable cause thats not against the constitution, stopping citizens without any cause or suspicion is

          We are guaranteed freedom of movement

          • Creamy says:

            So roadside sobriety tests would be fine, as long as the police have a reason to do it.

            • Herb says:

              you reallly need to read the constituition

              evidently you do not understand the statement with regards to freedom of movement

              stopping anyone without a valid reason is illegal

              if we allow this, whats next, stopping me walking along front street and ask for identification for no reason, be careful of what rights you give away to any act which goes agaainst our constitiution, which by the way states that no law can be made to override anything contained within it.

  24. TGAOTU says:

    Ban alcohol, it is poison. Don’t punish people who smoke or speed, that is not related to the accidents. Stop punishing innocent people for the sake of the guilty!

    BOOZE IS POISON, I stopped drinking unlike everyone else. Drunk drivers are on our roads every day all day long. Stop blaming everything on THE SCAPEGOATS!!!!!!

    The real devil here is ALCOHOL which I know personally makes you incapable of safe driving. Smoking NEVER impairs your driving so don’t give me that trash talk propoganda.

    I used to do it all, and I know that drunk driving is DEADLY, I almost died a few times thank God I am here today. Booze almost killed me once from poisoning and a stroke which left me unable to stand or speak for days. LEGAL BOOZE did that.

    Stop blaming speed, because our speed limit should be VARIED island wide, with some places at 25kph and some places 80kph, like the rest of the CIVILIZED world.

    Speed cameras are just a lazy way to take our money, make us poorer, and make us suffer more. Fix your damned stupid archaic speed limits and then we can talk sensible.

    The stonehenge leaders have never bothered to adapt it to THE MODERN ERA, let alone modern decade.

    Horse buggies could only reach 35kph and that is why the speed limit was set as that. Remember we did not have cars until about half a century later.

    Giving people $300 fines for going a speed that Usain Bolt can run is absurd, and three tickets like that takes you off the road and impairs your whole life and job….for what?

    Like I said, an easy way , lazy way, to rake in our money.
    ANd what if someone stole or borrowed your vehicle? do YOU the owner get charged with his offense? How is the government and police going to regulate this? More laws? ABSURD!!!!!!!

    Raise the speed limit and lower it where APPROPRIATE. Then put in cameras if you want. I mean, dear GOD, how BEHIND can our island be? Why do intelligent responsible people have to constantly suffer the IGNORANCE of others?

    In Canada, rural roads where houses and children line the narrow lanes which are one lane wide, have posted limits on average of 80kph. This is a lane where children play alongside and which is no wider than 10feet! 80kph! Same in Europe.

    In Bermuda, you are forced to go a snail’s pace and whipped for going 3mph over!

    But then again, this societyis designed to make the poor poorer, and to let the rich have an easy-go-lucky and get out of jail cheap card, eh?

    Wake up and smell the roses!

    • I call BS says:

      In Canada, rural roads where which are narrow do not have speed limits posted so it is an assumed 50km. These are also usually straight roads. There is no place in Bermuda where it is safe to go that fast because of the curves and blind spots.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Ummm, where are these roads? You sure that you don’t mean 80K? Most US county roads are 55mph. Without a shoulder most are no wider than a Bermuda road. No walls, moving utility poles or trees like Bermuda but pavement then ditch. No room for error, just like Bermuda.

    • PBanks says:

      If someone stole your vehicle then it should be pretty easy to sort that out. If someone borrowed your vehicle, then that becomes a matter between you, the other person and possibly your respective insurance companies to sort out.

      As I Call BS points out, rural roads in Canada tend not to be as bendy or be bounded by walls the way that roads are here. Not as much recourse for pedestrians on foot or bicycle to avoid the maniacs.

      I’m not sure where on the island your suggested 80kph limit should be applied, that’s probably overkill even on Kindley Field Road.

    • Creamy says:

      Marijuana DOES impair driving skills. Which is why other countries are passing laws to allow for dui testing for marijuana and other drugs.