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Crockwell to consider use of speed cameras

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Minister of Transport Shawn Crockwell, left, and Premier Michael Dunkley say tougher road safety rules are under consideration (Photo by Mark Tatem)

Speed cameras, sobriety tests and harsher penalties are part of legislative changes being considered by Government to improve road safety.

Premier Michael Dunkley and Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell announced the plans yesterday.

They also said Government would form a Road Safety Summit by the end of the month and invite input from between 20 and 40 individuals.

Education and personal responsibility were also touted as being part of the solution going forward.

Mr Crockwell said Government would proceed with implementing roadside sobriety tests and plans to amend legislation during the next parliamentary session.

Changes are also being considered for the Traffic Offences (Penalties) Act, with a view to increasing fines, while use of speed cameras was being “considered”.

Mr Crockwell said that aside from Government’s plans, the public had a responsibility to contribute to the solution through personal responsibility, better judgment on the roads, and ending the culture of driving under the influence.

“Obviously, the Government can legislate all we want but that can only get us so far,” he said. “Many laws have been passed to encourage responsible behaviour on our roads by successive governments but the public must adhere to them.

“This Government will continue to consider laws and policies to discourage bad behaviour on our roads and the police will continue to enforce those laws.

“But the public have a duty. Get involved and take personal responsibility — every time you get on a bike or get into a car, drive responsibly, with care and caution, and obey the rules of the road.

“You may very well save your life or someone else’s.

“Road users ought to understand that most collisions can be avoided if they make wise decisions.

“Let’s all work together and participate in making our roads safer for everyone.”

Mr Dunkley outlined several “personal checks” that residents must adhere to when using the road.

“We must stop gambling with traffic lights,” he said.

“We must secure our children in properly fitted car seats as required by law. We must fasten seat belts and helmet straps.

“We must slow down and obey the speed limit. We must not create the ‘third lane’, and we must not drink and drive.”

The Premier also commended Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd, parent company of The Royal Gazette, for offering to take part in a campaign to encourage safe driving habits and to create awareness of the importance of safe road use to the community.

Mr Dunkley also addressed the issue of a photo that appeared on social media of Bermuda’s latest road fatality, Richard Thomas, 59, from Paget, taken as he lay dying on the ground on Monday night.

“Whoever that sick individual was who posted that picture, you need to wake up,” Mr Dunkley said. “You need to ask yourself, what did that do for you? What did that do for our community?

“Those types of people should stand up and say that I am sorry. Bermuda, we are better than that.

“Delete those things, don’t pass them on. If someone is struggling in the streets and you want to take pictures, I’m not accepting it.”