Documentary Series To Highlight Road Safety

November 21, 2016

A Piece Of The Rock, an independent road safety documentary project run by a handful of concerned island residents, is making the rounds on social media with a series of short teaser videos starting this month.

The full-length documentary, shot by local filmmakers, is expected to be released early next year. The first of four teasers was announced on Monday and has already garnered over 19k views, hundreds of ‘likes’ and been shared more than 280 times.

Their objective is two-fold: to raise awareness of the dangers and potentially life-threatening consequences of reckless driving on our roads, as well as encourage legislative change and enforcement so more lives aren’t lost.

“Our objective with this is to raise awareness and disseminate facts so people are fully aware of the extent of the problem,” said creative producer Manish Thareja.

“Not many people are aware that approximately 15 percent of the population of Bermuda has been to the ER due to road traffic crashes in the past five years alone – many of whom are left with severe injuries, which have huge emotional, social, economic and psychological effects on this country.”

Agam Jain, also a creative producer, said: “Through our experience of filming over the last several months, we realized that some people are just not getting the full picture through the small number of accidents that get reported through media about their resulting, often long-lasting impact.”

“The hospital costs alone from these road traffic injuries have been $37 million since 2009, while the economic cost is considered to be in the hundreds of millions over the last decade,” a spokesperson said.

“Nearly 70 percent of road traffic fatalities are caused by drunk driving, which is still largely culturally acceptable on the island. Through this documentary the crew will be exploring this aspect as well as other problems plaguing the island’s motorists and what needs to be done to solve them.

“In addition to the teaser videos, the ‘Piece of The Rock’ team is gearing up to start a social media campaign encouraging residents to share their personal stories of being impacted on Bermuda’s roads using the #APieceOfTheRock and #ShareyourStory.”

Mr Jain added: “The first teaser we have released will perhaps come as a shock to many people, but this is our reality. These videos and the documentary itself, are merely tools towards a much larger campaign that we need and it boils down to something simple – there must be a change in the cultural mindset.

“We therefore urge people to follow these stories we share through social media and to themselves become the change this society needs.”

POTR Bermuda November 21 2016

Although an independent effort, both CADA [Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse in Bermuda] and BRSC [Bermuda Road Safety Council] have been supportive of the film and are expected to join in with spreading the word when the documentary is released.

“Until the release of this documentary, expected next March, we intend to release short videos, vignettes and teasers,” Mr Jain explained.

“Meanwhile, we are chalking out details for the campaign itself and will liaise with CADA, BRSC, BHB [Bermuda Hospitals Boards], as well as other social organisations to drive the momentum forward.”

A Piece Of The Rock involves a collaboration of expats and Bermudians. Mr Thareja considers it “a great example” of how residents can work side by side to create change that impacts everyone.

“We don’t believe Government itself is solely responsible for bringing change,” he said. “We are all part of the problem and the solution if we live here and it’s our collective responsibility as individuals to do something about it.

“As we see it there are three core issues that need to be addressed through legislative change and enforcement.

“Firstly, to change the culture of drink driving on the island; secondly, to have a rigorous graduated licensing programme for young adults; and lastly, to tackle the issue of speeding by perhaps reassessing the 35 km an hour speed limit and its stringent enforcement through technology and other means.”

The film is being produced by A Piece of the Rock Limited, a non-profit company.

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Category: Accidents and fires, All, News

Comments (2)

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  1. Nathalee Johnson-Simons says:

    Congrats and all the best to the persons involved in this project, i really do pray that there will be a change in Bermudas’ alcohol use/abuse which will result in no one else being injured/killed.

    Just my humble opinion which really doesn’t matter but i’m going to use this forum to speak my mind.

    Unfortunately, this has been one of the worst social issues that i had with Bermuda in my 13 yrs of living there (the blatant ‘acceptance’ of alcohol use).

    When Bootsie made the song ‘Bermudians Love to Drink’ I must say i resented it soo much but hey, it’s the reality not just for Bermudians a huge % of persons living on the island.

    Over the years a Bermudian speak up on issues, in this case alcohol usage and the negative impact it continue to have emotionally/financially, however, the feedback from the powers that be was that they are called him trouble-maker/controversial…. and the list goes on.. some even resorted to personal attacks and ‘black-balling.

    If you google ‘Mr Speaker’ the poem and ‘Steer Clear’ the documentary in music done by Ras Mykkal in collaboration with John Woolridge and an ‘All’ Bermudian cast you will see that ‘A Piece of the Rock’ is nothing new, just different people, the details of information has been ‘out there’

    To the Road Safety Council, CADA and all the Stakeholders who were approached with discussion and various meetings held with Ras Mykkal and there was basically a ‘we don’t care, go make it happen by yourself’response. There were even persons who thought allowing his work to gain exposure would impact the business of Alcohol distributors, how absurd!!!
    Please do not let this opportunity for ‘A Piece of the Rock’ to make a difference.

    Bermuda need to make a tangible change, this is needed.. as it’s such a major social problem. Time to recognise this issue is not about ‘blocking’ the sale of alcohol for ‘big’ businesses and it is definitely not about the position held by Politician/Administrators that think they have the power to decide on how to handle the ‘elephant’ it is all about human lives.

    Lastly to all the families and friends affected please let your voices be heard… and encourage your loved ones to make conscious decisions when alcohol is used, being drunk and driving/riding need to stop and it starts with every individual.

    I am sorry if this doesn’t apply to all but i will always say ‘The bartender is there to sell what you … and the undertaker is there to bury.. nothing else.

    God guide/protect Bermuda.

    • sage says:

      Talking like that definitely won’t get you on the “most fascinating person” list, but you are right, I call it Drug of Choice Protectionism so blatant it’s ridiculous. If people who have built legacies off of peddling harmful drugs are forced out of business because the community wises up then they need to suck it up and go re-invent themselves. They should feel lucky their assets aren’t seized and used to start paying back society for all the havoc their product has caused. Making a living off the misery of others “legally” is falling out of fashion, slowly but surely.