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A terrible idea

March 18, 2014

Dear Sir,

Rental vehicles for tourists are a terrible idea for Bermuda. I was dumbfounded when I heard that Minister Shawn Crockwell made a statement that because every other destination has car rental facilities there's no reason why we shouldn't … well Minister Crockwell I'd like to remind you that this is Bermuda … Bermuda is unlike any other place in the world. Because the Jones' do it does not justify Bermuda doing it …. further Bermuda is 23'sh square miles which is minuscule compared to all other locations allowing rental vehicles.

What makes it worse is that Bermuda already has more cars and trucks per capita than any other country or protectorate in the world. The quality of life for Bermudians and residents in this regard already sucks!

If this is a suggestion from the new “leader” of the Tourism Authority I would suggest he educate himself to the uniqueness of Bermuda (we are not Washington DC)…..plus we do not need the implementation of anything that will adversely affect our way of life suggested by an individual or group who are here on work permits and won't be around to see and suffer from the negative destructive results of their decisions and/or recommendations.

Minister Crockwell please don't be strong armed by importers … especially by the local companies who have already imported three electric vehicles which would be “suitable for this purpose”….sure has that stench on it of inside trading to me. I would like confirmation that no member of either legislature has or will have a business interest in any company associated with the importation or rental of these vehicles …. if anyone does he/she should disclose the fact and should not be allowed to participate in any Parliamentary or Senate vote on the importation of these “tourist” vehicles …. even though this should never come to a vote and any legislation for this thrown out!

Should rental vehicles be legislated with only a few vehicles envisaged, it will then be too late, the flood gates will have opened. As an example look what's happened to the quality of driving since Dr Brown legislated in SUV's — it should never have been allowed, but too late! The flood gates were opened. Okay, so let's say we get 1,000 tourists who were swayed to coming to Bermuda than going elsewhere because of the availability of rental vehicles … then let's say two per vehicle …. that means 500 rental vehicles on our roads overnight. If it's 2,000 or more — you do the maths. The importers and renters are just ringing their hands in glee at the thought while we humble residents are (should be) cringing at the thought.

As an aside I would like the people reading this to envisage a Bermudian driver driving into Hamilton and finding all parking places taken (which isn't uncommon now). But many are taken by these rental vehicles? How about a Bermudian driver getting frustrated when travelling behind these vehicles — occasions like this will do nothing but create a resentment/animosity for the vehicles and by association the tourists using them. At least a bike you can pass and give a wide berth to.

Safety doesn't even come into the decision making process because the discussion should not get that far! But if it does the safest way for tourists to travel is by government transportation/taxis/minibuses.

Our tourists are doing just fine now …. why do we need four wheel vehicles for them?!

Please take a long hard look at the downside, which I contend far outweighs any upside. I am totally opposed to further decreasing the quality of life for Bermudians with the introduction of rental cars for tourists. How about future generations … You already have to wait to come out of your driveway in Somerset for the vehicles backed up from Hamilton during rush hour … doesn't this give anyone a hint that we really don't need any more local vehicles on the road let alone rental vehicles. Simply speaking ... our roads are overcrowded as it is.

Very few will gain out of legislation approving vehicles for tourists ... all at the expense of the quality of life for the greater Bermuda …. shouldn't law be for the greater good (not for the few)?

Please don't open the floodgates!

COTTY OUTERBRIDGE

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Published March 19, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm)

A terrible idea

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