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  • Lucky escape: six people survived this horrific crash on Middle Road in Smith’s on Monday night, but not everyone is as lucky, as Bermudians and fellow residents continue to flout the laws of roads, with excessive speeding and impaired driving leading to untold grief and disruption (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Lucky escape: six people survived this horrific crash on Middle Road in Smith’s on Monday night, but not everyone is as lucky, as Bermudians and fellow residents continue to flout the laws of roads, with excessive speeding and impaired driving leading to untold grief and disruption (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


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This is why Drive for Change exists.

This is why The Royal Gazette and A Piece of the Rock, and numerous other partners, have joined forces to campaign so hard for the initiative.

This is why friends should not allow friends to drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

This is why friends and family should not enable such activity by travelling in the same car.

This is why random roadside sobriety testing is an absolute must.

This is why government funds must be found to make the introduction of speed cameras an imminent reality.

This is the result of a Bermudian culture that has produced what can be accurately described as some of the worst drivers in the world.

This is why parents should think long and hard before buying that first bike for their 16-year-old child.

This is why there should be a conversation about raising the age requirement for a car driving licence to 21.

This is why tougher and longer-lasting penalties should be in place for drink-driving and speeding offenders.

This is why we should consider lowering the legal limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg/100ml.

This is why police must target distracted drivers with the same zeal as they do those who drive under the influence.

This is why magistrates, backed by legislation, should develop a zero-tolerance approach.

This is how we lost 118 lives in the ten years to January 2018.

Even before the ink had been allowed to dry on the front-page interview with David Burt yesterday, Bermudians’ penchant for vehicular suicide again revealed itself in the crash on Middle Road in Smith’s that injured six people.

The car driven in the crash — it cannot be said to be an accident given the obvious speed involved — is a write-off and we are thankful that it was an immobile wall that it slammed into rather than another moving vehicle, or else our road traffic fatality figures would surely have swelled.

The driver, who has been arrested on suspicion of impaired driving and remains in police custody, and his five passengers will live to drive another day. But Monday’s was a lesson that needs to be learnt.

We have said that before — about learning our lessons.

Yet, still, the attitudes on our cramped roads continue in cavalier mode.

Unchecked. Unabated. Seemingly unaware that tragedy and death play no favourites.

The attitudes that “this is someone else’s problem” and “it could never happen to me” are naďve in the extreme, and symptomatic of a society whose IQ where it pertains to road traffic-related death and injury seems stuck on zero.

It is a parlous position for a supposedly advanced society to be in. Saying it must end and that we must do better are not enough.

This is the age of tough love and, perhaps, a return to the draconian era to save us from ourselves.

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Published Mar 14, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 14, 2018 at 7:55 am)

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