Sober message amid all the holiday fun
Taking part in the Bermuda Day Parade this year was an experience that will never be forgotten.
Bermuda’s road safety experts, lobbyists and campaigners including The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change campaign joined forces with a small group of volunteers to help raise awareness of the solutions to Bermuda’s roads crisis.
Our partners A Piece of the Rock as well as the Bermuda Road Safety Council, Bermuda Police Service and Cada were all part of the entry which attracted applause and cheers of support from the crowds lining the streets.
As Bermuda Day is a day for celebration and this year’s theme “What We Share”, our signs aimed to focus on the positive energy that is being put into improving our roads by pockets of the community and the shared vision of putting an end to the unnecessary pain and loss we are suffering in Bermuda.
Antoine Richards of B//Moto Motorcycle Academy held up a placard outlining the solutions we as a group are collectively pushing for — speed cameras, roadside sobriety and a graduated licensing programme for all new riders. Emergency medical technician Veronica Manderson held up a reminder that “Life Is Precious” while Dr Benjamin Lau’s banner pleaded “Make Bermuda Roads Safer”.
Mount Saint Agnes student Rodrigo Jara Lira joined with the school’s foreign exchange student Sam Dubois to urge the community to “Arrive Alive”.
As a reporter for The Royal Gazette and The Bermuda Sun before that, I’ve been assigned to cover the Bermuda Day Parade from the sidelines on a few occasions but this was the first time I participated. While we didn’t get to see all the floats passing by as usual, we did get to see the faces of all the Bermudian families and Bermuda residents swelling with pride for their country as they shouted out messages of support to us for our efforts.
“Keep doing what you’re doing!” one lady shouted while others shouted out the messages on our placards, “Arrive Alive!” and “Life is Precious!”
The parade hosts, including Minister for Social Development and Sports, Michael Weeks, who lost his son Malik to a bike crash in 2012, called on every one of us to be part of positive change.
Visit driveforchange.rg.bm to find out more about road safety and if you got any photos of the float, please post them with the hashtag #driveforchange
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