Speeding, the enduring pandemic that begs a solution

Dear Sir,

It is very disturbing to learn of the injuries to two Bermuda Regiment members doing extra duties because of Covid-19. May they both have a speedy recovery.

The Government has taken the bull by the horns to control Covid-19, bringing in extraordinary measures that affect our freedom of movement and all of our lives. This has all been for the common good.

Why have all governments avoided similar measures with the road-using public? Would it be politically disastrous for them to take such measures to get this other pandemic under control?

Between 2000 and 2015, there were 160 deaths. (I could not find the data for the years between 2016 and 2020.) Think of the lives that could have been saved if the Government put as much effort into curbing the speeding and bad driving one sees every day.

The Berry Hill Neighbourhood Watch had a meeting about ten months ago with Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, and Craig Cannonier, the Leader of the Opposition, together with the police and representatives of the Department of Works and Engineering.

The residents were very concerned about the speed of vehicles on Berry Hill Road and the number of incidents. Some ended in death and one of our neighbours has had her wall destroyed four or five times in the past five years.

There was yet another incident — I use the word “incident” rather than “accident” because accidents are preventable if the speed limit is adhered to — on Berry Hill Road last Saturday and this road user was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

I am not going to speculate why this incident took place, whether it was speed, drink, drugs or just inexperience; that will be up to the police to investigate.

So we have more deaths per annum from road fatalities than we have had from Covid-19. I wonder whether the Government will put as much effort into controlling the speed on our roads as it has with Covid-19?

I remember writing to the Editor in 2001 after visiting Alaska, where the City Council of Anchorage was hitting repeat offenders — no licence, no insurance, etc — by confiscating the vehicle and selling it, with the proceeds going into the public coffers.

It did not matter whether the person owned the car. Can you imagine the grief one’s spouse would give you in Bermuda with only one car per household? Again, the government of the day did nothing and as I stated earlier, there have been in excess of 160 deaths since 2000. When will the Government have the fortitude to reduce this other disaster — another 20 years?

Incidentally, since we had the neighbourhood watch meeting, the only thing that has been done has been two signs showing the speed limit to be 35km/h. We have offered to purchase speed cameras and let the police monitor them, but all without success. Does anyone have any ideas on how we may get assistance to control the excessive speed, not only on Berry Hill Road, but throughout the island?

One death is one too much. It is not only the victim but all of the family and friends who are affected as well.



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Published Jul 2, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 2, 2020 at 8:16 am)

Speeding, the enduring pandemic that begs a solution

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