Drive for Change is great but while we’re at it ...
Congratulations on the launch of the Drive for Change campaign. I would like to float some ideas to stimulate discussion.
1, Should there be more variable speed limits?
Has Bermuda considered adopting lower speed limits in vulnerable areas?
I think we already have an example of Hamilton having a lower speed limit and certainly Somerset Bridge.
In other countries, the speed limit is lowered as you approach the outskirts of a city, town or village in recognition of the increased traffic and pedestrians in such areas.
Unfortunately, the lower speed limit may not have the effect desired, as Somerset Bridge is seldom traversed at 15km/h. That would be an interesting survey to record the average and range of vehicle speeds.
Consider surveying the public for a list of areas of Bermuda's roads where drivers and riders should drive at a slower speed. The list could include:
• School areas during school hours
• The towns of Flatts, St George and Somerset, and Dockyard, although the raised crosswalks seem to serve the purpose where they exist
• Busy areas such as Warwick Bowl to Khyber Pass, and Heron Bay from Camp Hill to the Rubis Station
• Busy intersections such as Tee Street
• Narrow accesses with visibility challenges such as Morgan Road access to Harbour Road, Longford Hill Road access to Harbour Road, Darrell's Wharf access to Harbour Road
• Narrow roads or road sections such as Harbour Road, especially from Hamilton to Manse Road, where the larger-vehicle restriction exists; Cut Road in St George's is not even wide enough to serve as a two-way road; Orange Valley Road and Parsons Lane in Devonshire
• Curvy roads such as Spice Hill Road in Warwick, Avocado Lane in Pembroke and Happy Valley Road in Pembroke
2, Should there be a pedestrian code?
We should create a list highlighting some of the don'ts for pedestrians.
• Crossing the street while texting or otherwise operating on a mobile phone
• Crossing the street not paying attention or while preoccupied
• Using the crosswalk in the dark in a poorly lit or unlighted area, or crossing without waiting for approaching traffic to stop when the sun is low on the horizon and could adversely affect driver visibility
3, How do we improve enforcement — the protection “now” impact?
We know that our motorbike or vehicle and our driver's licence are absolutely vital to Bermuda's riders and drivers.
It is also the immediate present, the “now”, that matters versus the “some day in the future” court date with a fine and possible off-the-road penalty.
4, So what creative solutions can we come up with?
• If we agree with the “now” impact, it must be on-the-scene and it must be immediate protection
• If a driver is considered to be under the influence of alcohol or other substances? Protect them, their passengers and other road users now. On the spot. Impound the vehicle and suspend the driver's licence for 24 hours. Let family and friends collect them and keep them safe.