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Police decry ‘bad driving culture’

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Inspector Robert Cardwell

Police Inspector Robert Cardwell, the officer responsible for the Roads Policing Unit, has highlighted a culture of bad driving as being responsible for the recent spate of accidents that have claimed five lives in the past month.

“There is evidence of a general disregard for proper driving behaviour and a bad driving culture that must be reversed,” he said.

Insp Cardwell pointed out that 12 persons were arrested for impaired driving offences over the holiday period. “Road traffic collisions occurred that have resulted in serious injury and further loss of life. [A total of ] 16 lives have been lost on the roads in 2014 and one life has already been lost in 2015.

“The majority of the collisions involving the loss of life have involved Bermudian men. Those men leave behind families including mothers, fathers, siblings, children and other extended family members. [A total of] 126 people in 2014 have been admitted to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital with serious injuries as a result of collisions. These are people who have suffered injuries resulting in brain damage, paralysis, loss or amputation of a limb and many other very serious injuries that will require an extensive period of rehabilitation, rehabilitation in some cases that is lifelong.”

Inps Cardwell added that reversing present trends “ ... will require the co-operation of every single road user”.

He noted that during the Christmas and new year period, there was relatively good social behaviour with responsibility being exercised as the community celebrated the festive season. “However, the same cannot be said for responsible road use,” he said.

The attached video, sourced by The Royal Gazette, is an example of bad driving culture on the Island’s roads.

Insp Cardwell continued: “The Bermuda Police Service will continue its target approach to enforcement of traffic laws through the Selected Traffic Enforcement Programme.

“However, enforcement alone cannot prevent future collisions and will not slow down the rate of deaths suffered on the roads.

“Collisions too often are entirely avoidable. Aggravating factors of bad behaviour that includes speed, alcohol consumption and general inattention or combinations of these factors are usually present in collisions.”