Big fall in road collisions as riders heed safety message
The number of traffic collisions dropped dramatically towards the end of last year after police launched a crackdown on bad driving habits.
Operation Vega began last July, with police patrols targeting speeding motorists. To date, almost 5,000 tickets have been issued for traffic offences.
Figures suggest that the crackdown initially had only some impact on driving habits. There were 335 accidents in the third quarter of last year – between July and September – compared to 315, 384 and 386 for the same period in the previous three years.
But in the last three months of the year there were just 252 collisions -- down from 353 for the same period in 2020. There was 318 accidents for the fourth quarter of 2019 and 340 in 2018.
Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell said: “Based on these figures Operation Vega did not begin impacting collision statistics until it was in the fourth quarter of 2021, when collisions were down by almost 100 when compared with the same period in 2018, 2019 and 2020
“It was not expected that Operation Vega on its own would dramatically reduce the number of collisions, since enforcement would not necessarily have such an impact. This is also the case in other jurisdictions.
“Public awareness and education are what create this desired effect.
“The reduction in the number of collisions in the fourth quarter 2021 may be attributed to heightened public awareness as a result a continued heightened use of social media to get our message out about our Operation Vega efforts.”
Susan Jackson, the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance spokeswoman on transport, welcomed the news.
Ms Jackson said: “I commend the Bermuda Police Service and the work it has done to make Operation Vega a success. I hope these rates indicate a new trend on the island’s roads in order for them to become safer for all.
“There are still too many traffic collisions so we must maintain police patrols targeting speeding motorists and other bad behaviours on our roads.
“Too many lives have been lost to speeding, reckless driving and not following the rules of the road.
“We must all remember, it's a privilege to drive on our roads. Increased police presence on our roads are there to protect and not to be punitive.
“I believe if we continue to reduce traffic violations, we can change our dangerous driving culture.”