Minister the approach to drunk driving requires a change says MP Michael Dunkley

 Minister the approach to drunk driving requires a change says MP Michael Dunkley

Recently, Transport Minister Lawrence Scott ruled out roadside breath tests without warning and said, “The reason that we have the advertisement is to be proactive- we don’t want to be punitive.”

Say what!

We need to be serious about drunk driving!

Currently general driving standards are terrible in so many areas; it is dangerous to drive on our roads due to speeding. Inattention is rampant: using cell phones while driving, not stopping at lights or stop signs is commonplace and too many drink too much and then drive. The deteriorating conditions on the roads are a real and pressing concern.

Sadly, the death toll on our roads remains at a high level with 16 fatalities this year to date which continues a very high trend from past years.

My experience as a former Minister of National Security shows that historically a significant number of road fatalities involved drinking and driving. We must take this scourge seriously and warning people that roadside testing will take place must discontinue.

The One Bermuda Alliance supports Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell and the BPS in his belief that not announcing checkpoints would make the legislation more effective.

Why notify people who are breaking the law and endangering other road users and themselves? What other countries take such a soft approach to a serious matter?

History has shown that drunk drivers have caused destruction and death! Lives have been ruined, families have been shattered and in spite of this, drinking too much and then driving remains all too frequent!

We support roadside testing and commend the government for passing the legislation but not advertising when it will happen is problematic.

Should the BPS advertise when they will be conducting speed checks? Should they advertise when and where police patrols will be? Of course not, so let’s take drunk driving seriously and allow the BPS to set up random roadside checkpoints when they deem appropriate.
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Trevor Lindsay

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