Speeding law applied too randomly
March 3, 2014
Early one Saturday evening several weeks back I was riding into town towards BUEI when I was flagged down by two police officers operating a speed trap. As always, they were polite, professional and friendly; I suspect that had they been free to use their own common sense they would have been out fighting crime instead of being made to target average citizens.
One officer was pointing the speed gun while the other wrote up the tickets, and they were pretty much catching every motorist that came past. It was like shooting fish in a barrel, and they could hardly keep up.
In the weeks since, I have paid closer attention to the traffic along this dual carriageway (the only one in Bermuda). Aside from at rush hour, it is difficult to spot a vehicle that is NOT speeding. I have seen (and filmed) public vehicles including taxis, government vans, and even multiple buses zooming along at 55-60 every hour of the day. And these buses weren't empty, but filled with innocent passengers. Were these public servants being reckless? I don't think so, but I will guarantee that not a single one of them will be stuck with a speeding fine.
I can appreciate that speeding can be dangerous, although the eagle-eyed among us will have noticed that traffic deaths tend to be associated with alcohol, night hours, youth, maleness, and scooter-riding. If reducing accidents were really the goal, this type of speed trap could be better applied on the way out of town late at night.
In the meantime, I would strongly urge the magistrates and others responsible for this targeting to travel on this road and take a look for themselves at what's happening. A law that is arbitrarily and randomly applied breeds disrespect for the law itself, which over time can erode our sense of civic purpose. Bermudians and our way of life are rightly envied by outsiders; let's keep it that way.