Column: Susan Jackson On Drunk Driving

December 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

[Opinion column written by Shadow Transport Minister Susan Jackson]

Bermudians love to drink. It’s no secret. And with the holiday season upon us, libations will be flowing in abundance. If one chooses to indulge, that’s their right but once they decide to operate a vehicle afterwards, they are blatantly disregarding the wellbeing of every road user they pass as soon as they turn the key.

For too long Bermudians have turned a blind eye to driving drunk. We can no longer hope “they make it home safely” but instead must take a firm stand that driving under the influence will not be tolerated.

Roadside sobriety testing is meant to stop driving under the influence. Police visibility in communities and on our roads have proven to slow down motorists and influence drivers to follow the rules of the road. Many people under the influence believe they are invincible. Ask the family member of someone who has lost their life due to drink driving if that is in fact, the truth.

Over the years, we have seen the Bermuda Road Safety Council try different approaches to deterring driving while under the influence. And while its efforts are applauded, are they actually making a difference? It seems many have gone tone deaf.

A recommendation to the Transport Minister is to consider introducing a preventative drunk driving education class as part of the initial licensing process. I believe once people are aware of the involuntary effects from driving while drunk, there is a lasting impression of the consequences.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

It’s unacceptable for an irresponsible driver to cause unnecessary misery to innocent road users, so I implore all operators of vehicles—do not drink and drive, even when you think you’re okay. Those are the times when more often than not, that you aren’t.

As we celebrate over this holiday season, have fun, but please be responsible. Have a designated driver, catch a cab, walk if you can, but please don’t operate a vehicle while under the influence.

And to those of you who have historically stood by and said nothing as a drunk driver pulls off, do something different this year. Stop them.

We must not forget that it’s a privilege to be on the road. Never take it for granted.

- Susan Jackson

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