Road casualties up but fewer deaths in 2019

Almost 1,800 people were injured in road crashes last year — 54 more than in 2018.

The grim figures showed a steady increase over the past four years — although deaths on the roads dropped.

Statistics released by the Bermuda Hospitals Board showed 1,794 patients were treated in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital or the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in St David’s in 2019 — a 3.1 per cent increase on the year before. Tourists accounted for 137 of the injures.

A total of 23 people were admitted to the intensive care unit last year as a result of crashes and four patients were sent overseas for treatment.

The BHB recorded 1,740 road injuries in 2018.

BHB figures from 2017 showed 1,690 injuries and 1,685 were logged the year before.

The most dangerous months on the roads last year were June and July.

There were 200 road injuries recorded in June and 209 in July — the highest numbers for any month over the past four years.

The figures also showed that road traffic collisions were responsible for 6.3 per cent of emergency department cases in July.

Injuries also increased year-on-year in May, September, October, November and December.

The roads were safest in February, when only 97 injuries were reported — the lowest figure recorded since February 2017.

Year-on-year decreases were also recorded in March, April and August.

But, although the number of injuries increased last year, there were fewer deaths on the roads.

There were seven road fatalities in 2019 compared with 12 in 2018 and 15 in 2017.

A spokesman for the Bermuda Road Safety Council said yesterday the drop in road deaths was a good sign, but more work needed to be done to make the roads safer.

The spokesman added: “This significant reduction tells us that we are on the right track. The message of road safety is being heard.

“However, until no lives are lost on our roads, we will continue educating and encouraging all of Bermuda, that when walking, riding or driving, make a conscious effort to follow the rules of the road, and practise care, courtesy and attention on our roads.”

The spokesman also offered the organisation’s condolences to the family of Kijani Burgess, who was killed in a crash earlier this month.

He added: “Mr Burgess is the first, and we hope the last, road traffic fatality for 2020.”

A police spokesman said the service’s road traffic collision statistics for 2019 were not yet available.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said last November that 1,117 collisions had been reported to police to date compared with 1,467 for the whole of 2018 and 1,249 for 2017.

Mr Caines told the House of Assembly that roadside breath test checkpoints had improved road safety awareness and highlighted the dangers of drink-driving since their introduction in September 2018.

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Published Jan 21, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 21, 2020 at 6:21 am)

Road casualties up but fewer deaths in 2019

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