Police bike patrols ‘making roads safer’

  • Inspector Robert Cardwell

    Inspector Robert Cardwell

Police motorbike squads are on patrol across Bermuda on a daily basis as part of the service’s drive to make the Island’s roads safer.

The initiative, which was launched in August, has helped police crack down on dangerous and careless driving as well as target the ever-present scourge of third-lane riders.

The new Road Safety Strategy, which was rolled out at the beginning of the year on the back of a string of fatal accidents, has helped reduce collision statistics across the board.

The campaign has also seen more than 2,300 Motorist Advice Notices given to drivers for minor infractions instead of tickets as well as motorbike teams patrolling the streets on a day-to-day basis for the first time.

Inspector Robert Cardwell, head of the roads policing unit, told The Royal Gazette the new strategy had been successful, but the Island still had a long way to go.

“The MANs are about having conversations with the public and getting drivers to understand how they are contributing to the problems on the road,” he said. “But they don’t mean you are off the hook, if you’re stopped again and it comes up that you have already had a MAN you will get a ticket.”

“Between the beginning of February and the end of September, police have given out 5,787 tickets for traffic offences and 2,316 MANs — that’s 8,103 bad driving behaviours we have tried to address.

“We have also tried to reach out to the 16-18 demographic through the schools as this is the most likely age group that will end up in emergency as a result of traffic accidents.

“The 21-35 age bracket tends to be where the fatalities happen, so we are trying to get to drivers before they reach this age. We plan to roll out the same programme in the schools again soon.”

The latest collision statistics for 2015 between January and the end of September show a drop in all kinds of collisions across the Island.

So far this year, there have been six fatalities — down from ten in the same period last year — while the 83 serious injury collisions there have been to date represents a drop of 10 from last year.

The number of damage-only collisions has dropped by nearly 100 from 545 in 2014 to 463 in 2015, while slight injury collisions have reduced from 451 to 431.

Inspector Cardwell added: “We have a long way to go still, but the figures are continuing to drop. We are able to measure our performance much better now.

“The courts have also stepped up their game on traffic offences, especially third-laning. We are trying to tackle this prolific problem and for the offence of careless driving the courts are routinely giving out fines of $800 and 10 points.

“We are very pleased to see this and having at least one team of police bikes out on the roads every day has helped too.

“They provide a big deterrent and having them out on a daily basis, which only happened for the first time in August, has had a positive impact.”

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Published Oct 16, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 16, 2015 at 1:48 am)

Police bike patrols ‘making roads safer’

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