235 Lives Lost due to Traffic Collisions since 2000

 235 Lives Lost due to Traffic Collisions since 2000

During a press conference yesterday, Acting Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons revealed that 235 lives have been lost due to road traffic collisions between 2000 and 2021 on the island.

“ I want to reassure the community that the Bermuda Police Service is committed to playing its part in reducing harm on our roads,” Acting Commissioner Simons explained.

He added that driver ability, attitude, enforcement, road design, education, driver and vehicle licensing laws can all be adjusted to attempt to reduce the amount of road collisions experienced on the island.

“ Ultimately, individuals are accountable for their own behavior when operating a motor vehicle on our narrow winding roads which were not designed for high speed,” the Acting Commissioner said. “ Please, let’s all work together to end poor driving on our island’s roads. The life we spare can be our very own.”

Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell was also at the press conference and he revealed some alarming statistics. The only year which has had more road traffic fatalities than 2021 was 2008, when there were 17 fatalities.

“ Road traffic collisions are attributed to a number of things; carelessness, inattention on the roads and dangerous driving,” Inspector Cardwell said. “ These are practices that we see on our roads everyday.”

120 people have been arrested for driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol this year, compared to 184 in all of 2020.

Former Commissioner Stephen Corbishley deemed the activity on our roads as a critical incident. According to Inspector Cardwell, these declarations are not taken lightly in the service and is given priority. Thus, Operation Vega was launched on July 1.

“ Through operation Vega, 486 violation tickets were issued within the past two weeks, versus 282 in the past week,” he said. “ Since its inception on July 1, 3,371 tickets have been issued.”

Despite the Operation originally supposed to end on November 30, the BPS have decided that it is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
“ Road policing is a hallmark of policing duties and is something that we want all of our resources to engage in,” Inspector Cardwell said.

“ When our members are not attending calls for service, they must police the roads. The vast majority of our tickets are related to speeding offenses.”

The BPS had originally intended to change driving behavior through Operation Vega according to Inspector Cardwell, but the issue of road safety goes much deeper than that, it is like an ingrained culture.

“ Bermudians are known to be the friendliest people on earth, but when we get behind the wheel of a car or motorcycle, for some reason that changes and we become very bad on our roads,” he said.————————————————————————

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Trevor Lindsay

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