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Road Safety Week 2023 launched

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Road Safety Week kicks off at City Hall. Pictured, from left: Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, Wayne Furbert, the Minister of Transport, Anthony Santucci, from CADA, Dennis Lister III, chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, Darrin Simons, Commissioner of Police (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

In order for the island’s roads to be safer, the driving culture and attitude must change, a member of the Bermuda Road Safety Council said.

Dejon Simmons, who was involved in a serious bike crash when he was a teenager, joined the council’s board last year.

He said: “We have a culture of drinking here, and it is going to take a shift away from that culture when it comes to driving.”

Mr Simmons urged Bermudians to look beyond the statistics of road accidents and deaths and remember that people and families make up those numbers.

He believed that, while the BRSC is doing what it can to address road safety on the island, the solution starts at home.

He added: “This is not a one-off or individual issue, it affects all of us and requires a community solution.”

Mr Simmons said this at the opening of the council’s annual road safety week at City Hall yesterday.

Road Safety Week kicks off at City Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Wayne Furbert, the Minister of Transport, found the week’s theme of changing minds and behaviours to be relevant to everyone in Bermuda.

He said: “How we act while driving, riding or walking is an act of caution for every resident.

“The time has come to change how we conduct ourselves on the roads.”

He mentioned the Ministry’s and council’s plans to reduce dangerous driving by includingon-road instruction and exams for new bike riders, reviewing the current penalties for traffic offences and increasing the use of cameras.

“It is time to recognise the critical importance of responsible behaviour on the roads and is paramount for each and every one of us to uphold our duty as responsible drivers and riders by adhering to traffic rules, practising patience and demonstrating courtesy, we can create a culture of safety and respect on our roads,” he added.

Darrin Simons, Commissioner of Police Police at the opening of Road Safety Week (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Calling speeding and disobeying traffic signs “prolific” problems, Darrin Simons, the Commissioner of Police, said: “The greater the speed you travel at, the greater the chance you will lose control of your vehicle and definitely the longer it will take you to stop.

“How bad the injuries are after a collision is directly related to how fast you are travelling.

He added that driving while impaired by alcohol, which could lead to a deadly collision, is completely avoidable if drivers make better choices.

Dennis Lister III, BRSC chairman, stressed the importance of teaching children safe driving habits.

He said: “To this end, the council will be doing school presentations to raise awareness at all levels – primary, middle and secondary.”

Dennis Lister III, chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council at the opening of Road Safety Week (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

According to him, the Council is also discussing re-education courses for older drivers who may have seen some changes to the rules of the road from when they first earned their licence.

He said: “When you first get your driver’s licence, you are not required to take a driver’s test again until the age of 65.

“We are looking to re-educate older mature drivers on new and safer driving standards that will overall help raise our standards in Bermuda.”

Road Safety Week online campaigns

The Bermuda Road Safety Council have many social media campaigns scheduled throughout the week to raise awareness about safe driving habits.

Monday, May 15 – Pledge for better driving: People can commit to being better drivers on the council’s website.

Tuesday, May 16 – On the road to safety: Will encourage people to obey the rules of the road and obey traffic signs.

Wednesday, May 17 – Look out for each other: Will discuss the importance of driving cautiously.

Thursday, May 18 – No need to speed: Will discuss the risks of speeding

Friday, May 19 – Zero Tolerance: Will address the dangers of drink-driving

Saturday, May 20 – Everyone’s life matters on our roads: Will highlight the importance of sharing the road with other drivers and pedestrians.

To learn more about the Council and its initiatives, visit its website.

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Published May 16, 2023 at 7:52 am (Updated May 16, 2023 at 9:08 am)

Road Safety Week 2023 launched

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