Police launch road safety Twitter account
Police have begun to highlight road safety through social media.
The Bermuda Police Service traffic unit officially launched a Twitter account yesterday in an attempt to cut the island's high rates of death and injury on the roads.
The Twitter feed features footage of collisions, speeding vehicles and examples of bad driving, as well as post announcements and updates on road accidents and closures.
Inspector Robert Cardwell, head of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “We will let you know what the RPU is doing, where we will be and what the results are of what we have done.
“We will also update on road closure and detour information as a result of collisions and
He added: “Additionally, this Twitter account makes us more open, transparent and easier to contact for road traffic-related concerns or queries any member of the public may have by simply contacting us on this network.
“It is our hope that use of this social media will further strengthen the resolve of the BPS and our partners in the Bermuda Road Safety Council and Cada to reduce the number of deaths and collisions generally on our roads.”
The account will also be used to update the public on speed check locations and information on road safety.
Mr Cardwell said the new Twitter account, pictured above, given a quiet launch three weeks ago, was part of the service's road safety strategy designed to slow traffic, make the roads safer and save lives.
The Twitter feed has already notched up 400 followers and police hope that number will “significantly increase”.
One video uploaded to the account features a motorcyclist smashing into a sidewalk after the rider tried to overtake a car which was already overtaking another vehicle. Another showed a car parked so badly it blocked traffic in an entire lane.
The Royal Gazette asked if there had been any progress on the installation of speed cameras and roadside breath tests.
Walter Roban, the Minister of Transport, earlier said the Government was “committed to working with the police to implement” the measures in this parliamentary year.
Mr Cardwell said: “Both of those things are with the minister. The necessary legislation has to be created to support both of those initiatives.
“It is something that we are looking forward to, it is something that would have a meaningful impact on meeting our objectives — simply calming down that traffic, making safer roads and saving lives.
“I think both speed cameras and roadside sobriety testing is going to assist in that.”
He added that he hoped the Twitter account would drive awareness and discussion of road safety. Mr Cardwell said: “As far as the Twitter account, I think we will be monitoring how many followers we get; if that substantially increases, we will know that our reach and information and messages are getting out to a larger population.
“What we hope to have happen with that is to keep the conversation going — road safety has to be in every conversation.
“Road safety has to be in everybody's conversation and be at the forefront of everybody's mind who drives and rides a vehicle on our roads.”
Police statistics show 62 road deaths since 2012 and 6,197 traffic summonses issued so far this year. The statistics also show drink driving is responsible for the largest number of road deaths in Bermuda.
In the first nine days of this month there were five arrests for impaired driving.
The Twitter account is @bps_rpu