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Rise in impaired driving offences a ‘major concern’, warns senior police officer

Impaired driving cases on the rise during the last month of 2022 (File photograph)

The continued increase of driving while impaired cases should be a “major concern” to the public, warned an acting police superintendent yesterday.

In an update for Operation Vega, the ongoing police campaign to crack down on bad drivers and reduce road deaths and injuries, Robert Cardwell, of the Tactical Support Division, said there had been 15 arrests for impaired driving since December 5.

He said: “Operation Vega remains a critical incident and is in line with the Bermuda Police Service’s strategic priorities as they relate to reducing harm on our roads.

“Worryingly, the incidence of impaired driving continues to increase – a situation that should be extreme concern for us all.”

Mr Cardwell added: “Roadside sobriety testing and high vigilance by patrol officers have contributed to these numbers and it appears the public are not taking notice of our pleas to not drink and drive.

“We continue to attend a number of collisions where impaired driving is a factor.

“That notwithstanding, indications are overall traffic collisions are on the decline.

“However, there remains much work to be done to further reduce these numbers.”

In total, 194 motorists were arrested for impaired driving in 2022, compared with 134 in 2021 and 186 in 2020.

Mr Cardwell said that within the last reporting period, 635 moving violation tickets, or MVTs, had been issued – up from 428 during the previous reporting period.

Since Operation Vega began in July 2021, 8,402 MTVs had been issued.

Mr Cardwell added that 66 motorist advisory notices, or MANs, were issued – up from 48 during the last period.

Officers issued 269 parking violation tickets compared with the previous 171.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, 265 road traffic collisions recorded. This was down from the 284 in the last quarter of 2021.

Breakdown of offences

Comparisons to previous reporting period in parentheses:

• Impaired driving arrests: 15 (+3)

• Speeding (excessive speeds ranged from 57kph to 94kph): 295 (+91)

• Traffic sign: 45 (+16)

• Unlicensed vehicle: 79 (+22)

• No third-part insurance: 75 (+25)

• No driver’s licence: 60 (+24)

• Manner of driving: 20 (+16)

• Disqualified: 14 (+11)

• Seatbelt: 5 (+3)

• Helmet: 2 (+2)

• Handheld device: 2 (-1)

• Defective vehicle: 9 (+7)

• Failure to give name/address: 0 (0)

• Failure to stop: 8 (+6)

• Fraudulent documents: 0 (-1)

• Making false statement: 1 (+1)

• Licence plate offence: 8 (-6)

• Tint offence: 10 (+3)

• Youth licence offence: 0 (-2)

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Published January 04, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated January 04, 2023 at 8:23 am)

Rise in impaired driving offences a ‘major concern’, warns senior police officer

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