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OBA says breath test checkpoints should not be publicised in advance

Testing time: A breath test checkpoint on Crow Lane near Hamilton. (File photograph)

The ruling out of surprise road breath test checkpoints was last night criticised by the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance.

Michael Dunkley, the shadow national security minister, said the need to give advance warning of the road blocks lessened the effectiveness of the road safety measure.

Mr Dunkley asked: “Why notify people who are breaking the law and endangering other road users and themselves?

“What other countries take such a soft approach to a serious matter?”

Mr Dunkley was speaking after Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, said that the checkpoints would continue to be advertised in advance because they were not designed to be punitive, but to encourage responsible behaviour.

He asked: “Should the BPS advertise when they will be conducting speed checks?

Should they advertise when and where police patrols will be?

“Of course not, so let's take drunk driving seriously and allow the Bermuda Police Service to set up random roadside checkpoints when they deem appropriate.”

Mr Dunkley said that experience had shown that drink drivers had “caused destruction and death”.

He added: “Lives have been ruined, families have been shattered and in spite of this, drinking too much and then driving remains all too frequent.”

Mr Dunkley said the OBA supported breath test checkpoints, but that advance warning was “problematic”.

Mr Dunkley said: “Currently, general driving standards are terrible in so many areas – it is dangerous to drive on our roads due to speeding.

“Inattention is rampant – using cell phones while driving, not stopping at lights or stop signs is commonplace and too many drink too much and then drive.”

Mr Dunkley added: “Sadly, the death toll on our roads remains at a high level with 16 fatalities this year to date which continues a very high trend from past years.

“My experience as a former Minister of National Security shows that historically a significant number of road fatalities involved drinking and driving.

“We must take this scourge seriously and warning people that roadside testing will take place must discontinue.”

He said the OBA backed the police and Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, who said recently the checkpoints would be more effective if they were not advertised.

The checkpoints at present are advertised by date and parish, although precise locations are not announced.

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Published December 13, 2021 at 7:48 am (Updated December 13, 2021 at 7:48 am)

OBA says breath test checkpoints should not be publicised in advance

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