2024 Road Safety Week Launch Held

May 8, 2024 | 0 Comments

Minister of Transport Wayne Furbert and BRSC Chairman Dennis Lister III spoke at the opening of Road Safety Week this week at City Hall.

Dennis Lister III – Chairman of the BRSC; Dion Francis – D/Chairman of the JRSC; Emilygail Dill – Junior Minister of Transport; Hon. Wayne Furbert – Minister of Transport; City of Hamilton Town Crier -Ed Christopher; Dr. Nicole Hart – BHB Consultant Emergency Physician; Glen Smith – Managing Director Auto Solutions; Anthony Santucci – CADA and Superintendent Arthur Glasford – BPS

Bermuda Road Safety Council May 7 2024 (8)

Minister of Transport Wayne Furbert said, “Good afternoon,

“I can stand here today and speak about the beautiful sunshine, and Bermuda’s pink sand, and yes, all that is true.

“But sometimes we have to speak to the heart and soul of each one of us. We have to ask ourselves: what kind of life do we want to live? What kind of legacy do we want to leave behind? How do we want our dash to be remembered?

“Do we want to be known as people who care for each other, who respect the rules of the road, who value safety and responsibility?

“Or do we want to be known as people who take unnecessary risks, who disregard the law, who endanger ourselves and others? The choice is ours, and the consequences are real.

“Every one of us, has a dash in our life. The dash rests between the date we are born, and the date we die. The challenge is that there are individuals that reduce the dash in their own lives and even the lives of others.

“What will it take? Governments can only do so much. Governments can only pass so much legislation. Governments can only put so many regulations in place, but what Governments can’t do is control all of the reckless riding we all see on our roads today.

“Every day on Bermuda’s roads, we bear witness to unsafe, illegal, and dangerous driving spanning from one end of the island to the other. From reckless speeding to cutting corners, overtaking on blind curves, running red lights or stop signs, and driving under the influence, the list of hazardous behaviors is alarming.

“But today, I stand before you not just to highlight the grim reality but to ignite a spark of change within each of us.

“Yes, we’ve all experienced those heart-stopping moments, silently praying for the safety of those taking reckless risks on the road. Let those moments not just be reminders of danger, but catalysts for action.

“Speeding stands as one of the primary causes of collisions in Bermuda. However, the risks skyrocket when compounded with driving under the influence, lack of care and attention, or distracted driving.

“To all Bermuda road users, I say, “Enough is enough.” It’s imperative that we prioritise road safety and instigate a fundamental shift in our driving habits.

“This week, the Bermuda Road Safety Council [BRSC] calls upon all road users to commit to fostering safer roads for all.

“I call on each one of us to think before we put the peddle to the metal or get on a bike or drive a car under the influence.

“The theme for this year resonates deeply: “Changing Minds, Changing Behaviors.” It’s a reminder for each of us to reassess our approach to road safety and our conduct while behind the wheel, riding, or walking.

“Recent statistics from the Bermuda Police Service paint a disconcerting picture, with impaired driving arrests continuing to escalate:

  • 170 arrests in 2021
  • 229 arrests in 2022
  • 265 arrests in 2023, with 39 arrests in the first three months of this year alone.

“Moreover, within the first quarter of 2024, the BPS has issued 639 speeding violations.

“These figures are distressing, and the blatant disregard for safety is disheartening. It’s imperative that we transform our perception of public roads and our behavior on them.

“Our roads are not just pathways for individual journeys; they are shared spaces meant for everyone. Every selfish action carries grave consequences, not just for the perpetrator but for innocent lives.

“While enforcement agencies play their part, the responsibility ultimately lies with each of us. We must exercise restraint, patience, and caution while driving, riding, or walking.

“I’d like to take a moment to honor and remember those families and friends who have tragically lost a loved one due to road fatalities. No words can fully ease the pain of your loss. Today, we stand in reflection alongside you, celebrating the lives of those who are no longer with us. As a community, it’s imperative that we each do our part to prevent further tragedies on our roads.

“In closing, I wish to thank the Bermuda Road Safety Council, led by Chairman Dennis Lister III MP and Deputy Chairman Wayne Swan and members of the Road Safety Council for their service. We appreciate your work to raise awareness and promote projects such as the Junior
“Road Safety Council, Designated Driver Campaign and transportation planning for event organisers.

“As a community, it’s imperative that we each do our part to prevent further tragedies.

“Together, let’s transform our roads into safer spaces, where every journey is a step towards a brighter, safer future.

“Thank you.”

BRSC Chairman Dennis Lister III said, “Good afternoon and welcome to dignitaries – partners – sponsors – vendors – and the public to RSW Open Event #SaferRoadsforAll

“This years’ theme is “Changing minds, Changing behaviours” and as stated by our mission statement – “to educate the public with effective tools to reduce collisions and road fatalities” and vision statement “to create a safer road culture that promotes positive driving and riding practices creating smarter road users and saving lives” – that is what we are aiming to do. To create a culture of safety first and foremost. Road safety requires each one of use making changes that will have a positive effect on our roads.

“Looking back at some road safety stats from 2023 – there were a total of 1068 collisions, 13 road fatalities and 107 serious injuries. The 3 highest age demographics for collisions – 60 and over 346, 31 – 40 336, 41 – 50 286. The leading cause of determined collisions – inattention, and there 54 alcohol related collisions.

“In an effort to reduce these statistics, the BRSC is looking at 1] a mature driver’s course for any driver over the age of 21, as refresher course to brush up on their driving. 2] a prolific offender’s course – to reduce the number of repeat offenders by educating and re-enforcing proper driving standards. 3] promote a rental livery association to raise the standard of livery transport.

“The BRSC must lead the charge to raise the standard of driving in Bermuda and these are steps that must be taken to help achieve it.

“Enforcement also plays a big role in changing and deterring behaviour. The BPS does a tireless job, special mention to the Roads Policing Unit who work closely with the BRSC, in catching offenders and bringing them before the courts. We will continue to support them in their efforts as they are the front line of road safety.

“The BPS will be encouraged to know that they will soon have further support and assistance from the soon to be installed CCTV network. While they cannot be everywhere at all times, the CCTV will be an added resource in their efforts for safer roads.

“In light of the stats from 2023 the BRSC marches on steadily to change minds and behaviours.

“This week is RSW and today is Tuesday – “Travel Safely”. Traveling safely begins when you prepare to get in or on a vehicle, clear your mind and focus. Limit distractions while you are driving. Obey all road signs and laws and travel at the speed limit.

“Each day this week has its own theme to promote road safety and we ask each of you to support them.

“Education is the first step to changing behaviours and the BRSC starts as early as preschool doing presentation on road safety. We encourage all school levels to be involved in road safety. We are proud of the JRSC who conduct initiatives to promote road safety among their peers. The JRSC members are our ambassadors for road safety. Let’s commend these members for being leaders among their peers.

“In 2024 let’s pledge to break bad habits and behaviours. We must change our minds to think of safety first, being considerate of others and adhering to all road rules and signs.

“Thank you all for coming out and showing your support for Road safety. #SaferRoadsforAll”

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