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Government to consider reducing legal alcohol limit

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The Government is considering a proposal to lower the legal alcohol limit in an attempt to reduce road deaths by 25 per cent.

David Minors, the road safety officer at the Transportation Control Department and executive officer of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, said at a public meeting last night that “research and analysis” would be conducted to recommend changing the legal limit from 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood to 50 milligrams.

The comments came during a town hall meeting to discuss Operation Caution, which is designed to address Bermuda's deadly roads.

The five-year plan was outlined to a small audience at The Berkeley Institute.

Mr Minors detailed the five key goals, which include reducing road deaths by a quarter, achieving a 25 per cent reduction in total collisions and a decrease in drink-driving incidents.

Mr Minors said that some people had criticised the 25 per cent target reductions as “low-hanging fruit”.

He explained that there had been six fatal collisions in Bermuda this year and 15 in 2017.

Mr Minors added: “By virtue of knowing that number you can see that it is not low-hanging fruit.

“This is something that we must work at and we must combat.”

He listed an increased police presence, targeted marketing campaigns, and the introduction of traffic light cameras next year to help achieve the operation's targets.

Mr Minors said road safety education would target youths as well as adults in separate two-phased programmes.

He said that changes would also be made to written and road tests.

Mr Minors added: “There has been a malaise that people believe it is easy to come to TCD and get a licence. Once this plan is in place, that will no longer be the case.”

A mandatory DUI education policy would also be developed for the ministry to consider.

Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, was also in attendance and said the road safety plan was about “saving lives on the roads and saving the lives of our people”.

He said that funding problems would not hinder the implementation of the new plan.

Mr Roban said: “There is no budget issue with what we are doing. The plan for the next five years is totally committed to by the Government, so we'll make sure that it's properly funded.”

In response to a question on drug-impaired driving, Mr Roban said: “The focus is on sobriety first and foremost. We're dealing with that first. The other drugs will be included later.”

Operation Caution: Government to considerreducing legal alcohol limit
Key meeting: Minister of Transport Walter Roban outlined Operation Caution (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 28, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated June 28, 2018 at 9:01 am)

Government to consider reducing legal alcohol limit

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