Disregard’ for visitors could hurt tourism
Bermuda’s lack of speed-limit signs and speed cameras and “complete disregard” for hired scooter riders has come under fire from a tourist.
Don Jones, a repeat visitor, contacted the Bermuda Tourism Authority to complain and the BTA forwarded it to The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change campaign.
Mr Jones also highlighted a lack of consistency in speed-limit signs, with some still in miles per hour rather than kilometres per hour.
The tourist, an experienced scooter rider on Britain’s roads who has hired bikes on visits to Bermuda, said: “Speedometers on possibly all imported two-wheeled vehicles are in km/h making it impossible for any driver to judge the correct speed.
“I do not recall any guidance on speed limits or how to convert km/h to mph being given by the scooter hire company.”
Mr Jones added: “There are virtually no speed limit signs in evidence apart from the approach to Hamilton.
“There appears to be no use of speed control cameras, apart from possibly outside Hamilton. There is one automatic speed indicator when leaving Hamilton, but it appeared to suffer from a random fault.”
Mr Jones said he experienced at least four instances of “extremely dangerous driving” by riders and drivers on a recent three-day visit to the island.
These included overtaking at high speed on blind bends — and one where a company van overtook him as he prepared to turn right with his indicator on.
Mr Jones said: “As many visitors depend upon being able to hire scooters to make their visit to Bermuda viable in both practical and economic terms, it seems extraordinarily short-sighted of the Bermudian authorities to ignore this blatant disregard for the very visitors the island wishes to attract.”
He warned: “It will only take reports of serious accidents to spread on social media for long-term damage to be done to what is, sadly, a declining Bermuda tourist market.”
Mr Jones said some tourist problems could be solved by including speed-limit conversion labels on vehicles and an awareness campaign designed to make drivers and riders aware of safe clearance distances to overtake two-wheeled riders, including pedal cyclists.
Mr Jones added that there appeared to be no visible enforcement of road safety laws.
Inspector Robert Cardwell, head of the police roads policing unit, said: “The BPS has a very active presence on Bermuda’s roads and they work together with the services’ resources from other operational departments aiming to be strategically deployed island-wide to progress the intents of the BPS roads safety strategy.
“The intent is ultimately to calm the roads and save lives.”
He added: “We also work with our partners in the Bermuda Road Safety Council, Piece of the Rock and Cada to increase awareness of road safety.
“From time to time, we partner in an enforcement capacity with the Transport Control Department traffic enforcement unit.”
Mr Cardwell said the public could keep updated on the work of the RPU by following its Twitter account on @bps_rpu.
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