Instructor takes over as road safety officer
An instructor on a motorcycle safety course is to take over as the island’s road safety officer after the previous holder left the job.
Rachael Robinson, a Project Ride instructor, has taken over from David Minors.
Ms Robinson has been an instructor for the rider training programme for 18 years, which is aimed mainly at schoolchildren. She has consulted on road safety and training since 2007.
Mr Minors had been road safety officer for about ten years.
A Transport Control Department spokeswoman said: “The department will ensure that a resource is in place to cover the duties and responsibilities of the post.”
Mr Minors organised a series of town hall meetings in June to outline the five-year Operation Caution road safety plan, but left his position soon after.
Operation Caution promised an increased police presence on the roads, traffic-light cameras, a possible reduction in the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers and the introduction of road safety education in schools from primary level.
Mr Minors, who ran Project Ride from TCD, had said that “a baseline for a pilot education programme” would be ready as soon as this month with a view to the programme being introduced next year.
The transport ministry said it had increased the Bermuda Road Safety Council’s budget by $15,000 to $25,000 a year.
The spokeswoman said almost $8,000 had been spent on road safety and expenses related to Project Ride.
The Bermuda Road Safety Council, with the Roads Division of the Department of Public Works, introduced an illuminated traffic sign at Barkers Hill roundabout in an effort to combat bad driving behaviour.
Dennis Lister III, the chairman, said: “It was first introduced over the Cup Match holiday in Barnes Corner to advise and remind motorists ‘Don’t drink and drive, buckle up and don’t speed’.
“This was a new tactic that we decided to try and it has so far been effective. It was extended from the West End to include other areas, such as Barkers Hill. The feedback we have got has been positive and encouraging.”
Project Ride has been criticised in recent months because it does not include on-road training.
Walter Roban, the transport minister, is committed to reviewing the programme.
The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change campaign has asked for a review of Project Ride and one of the campaign’s main objectives is the introduction of a graduated licensing programme for new road users.
Antoine Richards, a former professional bike racer, introduced the minister to his Bermuda Motorcycling Academy.
The academy programme includes an on-road element and was backed by the RSC before the appointment of Mr Lister.
Mr Roban said that Mr Richards’s proposal “will be considered as part of the review of Project Ride”.
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