Road horror hits home

A series of realistic accidents with actors playing the part of badly injured victims have been staged around the Island to drive home the message of the need for safety on the roads.

As part of Road Safety Week, yesterday saw the roll-out of the first so-called 'guerrilla marketing' initiative – graphic scenes depicting the horrific consequences of road accidents.

In some cases the set-up was so realistic – with torn clothing, blood, injuries such as bones sticking out – that motorists stopped to ask if they could help and it is thought one of the scenarios was the cause behind a real four-car shunt on Kinley Field as people stopped to look.

  • <B>All too real:</B> A motorist looks on in horror at a mock crash seen on East Broadway. Morning and afternoon rush hour traffic passed the mock accidents, which were put on display by the Road Safety Council to make the public aware of the results that could happen if texting, drinking or speeding while riding.

    All too real: A motorist looks on in horror at a mock crash seen on East Broadway. Morning and afternoon rush hour traffic passed the mock accidents, which were put on display by the Road Safety Council to make the public aware of the results that could happen if texting, drinking or speeding while riding.


A series of realistic accidents with actors playing the part of badly injured victims have been staged around the Island to drive home the message of the need for safety on the roads.

As part of Road Safety Week, yesterday saw the roll-out of the first so-called 'guerrilla marketing' initiative – graphic scenes depicting the horrific consequences of road accidents.

In some cases the set-up was so realistic – with torn clothing, blood, injuries such as bones sticking out – that motorists stopped to ask if they could help and it is thought one of the scenarios was the cause behind a real four-car shunt on Kinley Field as people stopped to look.

There were also many calls to 911 as people thought they were seeing real accidents.

Ten areas were used to set up the fake accidents – East Broadway; Trimingham Hill/South Shore road roundabout; Palmetto Road: North Shore junction at the bottom of Palmetto Road: Eastern round about on St. John's Road; Rockaway stretch in Southampton; Barnes Corner, Southampton' South Shore Road, Warwick; Middle Road, Devonshire (veggie cart location) and Ferry Reach stretch.

The HWP group supplied old motorbikes and there were signs at the accidents detailing why it could have taken place, such as a person driving while talking on a cell phone.

A spokesman for the Road Safety Council said: "The most impactful part is that we enlisted 'live' actors to portray collision victims and to ensure that the crash scene was as realistic as possible.

"The overall objective was to motivate the Bermuda public to make the choice of driving responsibly, safety and within the realms of the laws.

"The spokesman added: "Our intent was to generate an emotional response from the public, to 'shock' the public into taking action and making the right choice with regard to their driving behaviour and/or ensuring their family and friends make the right choices. The campaign was very successful to that regard.

"Police spokesman Dwayne Caines confirmed there was a four-car fender bender this morning on Kinley Field near one of the accident displays.

Although it is not known why all the vehicles collided, Mr. Caines said: "I am glad there was no serious injury. The law relates to the amount of distance while traveling behind vehicles. If motorists adhered to this law this would have not happened.

"And the Road Safety Council's executive officer Roxanne Christopher-Petgrave added: "If motorists are breaking the smaller rules such as following too closely behind vehicles then they are less likely to follow the larger rules such as drinking and driving.

"I'm glad we evoked that emotion. We tend, as a community, to have short-term memory. If there is a crash today there is a lot of grief. At the wake, persons drink and get intoxicated then get back on the road and repeat the same behaviours.

"We have received very positive feedback from the public, albeit some were upset or disturbed. But again, that is what we were aiming for. One of our objectives is to motivate dialogue and we've done just that.

"She added: "The community usually does not see the gruesome result of a road fatality. When they see the body it is all cleaned up and the person looks very peaceful as they lay in the coffin. You do not see the trauma and the gruesome state that the body goes through.

"We want to modify the behaviour of our people – doing safe messages have not proven successful and due to people's short term memory people forget and the process starts all over.

"The Road Safety Council will continue to do what it takes to get the message across to motorists this week. It isn't over.

"Junior Tourism and Transport Minister Senator Wayne Caines said: "We believe that desperate times call for desperate measures. We have had an overwhelming amount of calls and emails in support of this non-traditional initiative.

"We are pleased with the way the Road Safety Week is shaping. We would like the motoring public to continue to drive with care and caution. We are confident this campaign will have a positive effect on motorists.

"The question arose whether yesterday's display had an effect on the emergency respondents of 911.

Sen. Caines said: "I'm sure there have been a higher than normal amount of calls to emergency. The dispatchers are fully trained to deal with a high influx of calls so the campaign did not interfere with real emergency calls.

"The initiative will continue today with different scenarios being depicted around Hamilton and the rest of Road Safety Week with reality displays and accounts of the effects of dangerous driving.

Today there will be actors around Hamilton portraying survivors of serious crashes and the long-term effects it has on them.

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