Police say roads crackdown on the way as death crash victims named
Police today named two men who lost their lives last week in separate road traffic fatalities as Omar Wilson and Daymon Simmons.
Mr Wilson, 47, died of injuries suffered after his motorbike was in collision with a car at Town Hill Road and Harrington Sound Road in Smith’s last Thursday night.
Mr Simmons, 45, was killed last Friday night after his motorbike hit a wall on Spice Hill Road in Warwick.
Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley offered “sincere condolences” to the families and friends of both men.
He added: “Clearly, this is an extremely tragic time in all their lives.”
Mr Corbishley said investigations continued into both accidents.
The deaths meant the total death toll on Bermuda’s roads so far this yearis five.
Both men were driving motorcycles, but Mr Corbishley said it was too early to discuss other factors.
Mr Corbishley also responded to an article in The Royal Gazette today where Joseph Froncioni, a surgeon and road safety campaigner, highlighted a significant rise in speeding on the island’s roads since the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed six months ago.
Mr Corbishley agreed with Dr Froncioni’s assessment.
He said: “There has been a noticeable rise in speed on the roads, particularly connected to what has taken place over the period of Covid-19.”
He said Dr Froncioni “refers to the same issues”.
Mr Corbishley added motorcycles seemed to be “travelling a lot quicker, and driving in a lot more, I would suggest, maverick way”.
The commissioner said police would step up their visibility and look at better use of CCTV cameras to track speeders.
He also suggested modifications to roads, including the potential for more deterrents such as speed bumps.
Mr Corbishley said he supported catching speeders and other dangerous road users.
But he added: “The idea is not ’we got you’ – it’s to change mindsets and behaviours.
“If people see us and they’re slowing down, that means we are saving lives.”
Inspector Charlene Thompson, in charge of the roads policing unit, said officers would step up their presence on the roads.
She added there needed to be “a culture shift and mindset change” on behaviour on the roads.
She listed behaviour such as failure to halt at stop signs, overtaking on corners, pulling out too fast from side roads and a failure to use turn signals.
Ms Thompson said the island had seen “too many funerals, grieving families and lives gone too soon”.
She warned: “I am putting the motoring public on notice that we will be out there with our lasers for speeders.”
Ms Thompson said police would take a “zero tolerance” approach.
She added the crackdown would include regular roadside breath test checkpoints, with one scheduled for October 29 to November 1, and that more were in the pipeline.
Ms Thompson said a neighbourhood speed watch programme would also soon be introduced in a bid to cut death and injury on the roads.
She compared the move to a British programme, community speed watch, where the public are asked to flag up dangerous driving to police.
Dr Froncioni last night applauded the move – but said the Bermuda Road Safety Council should play a bigger role.
He added: “I have been out of the game, but I am still seen as the road safety guy.”
Dr Froncioni said he was “absolutely impressed by Inspector Thompson – not just her demeanour, but the content of what she said”.
He added: “I have always preached, and the officer in charge said it clearly – the whole point of intervention is not the ’gotcha approach’ to catch people speeding or drink driving.
“What you really want to do is deter people from misbehaviour.”