Log In

Reset Password

Roadside breath testing move welcomed

Bermuda Road Safety Council chair Erica Rance Mill (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Road safety campaigners have welcomed the Bermuda Government’s pledge to tackle impaired driving in Bermuda.

In yesterday’s Throne Speech, Acting Governor Ginny Ferson revealed that roadside breath testing would be brought in next year, while speed cameras would also be installed around the island.

She also announced that Government would look to curb underage drinking with a debate in Parliament on social host liability laws used in other countries to penalise adults who provide or allow the provision of alcohol to those underage. The debate is designed to pave the way for a new Bill to address underage drinking.

Erica Rance Mill, chairwoman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, and Anthony Santucci, executive director of Cada, welcomed the announcements.

“The RSC is very glad to see that Government remains committed to introducing roadside breath testing, and while we were hoping to see this become a reality this year, look forward to the implementation next year,” Ms Rance Mill said.

“Our goal with requesting this amendment is to provide the police with a tool that will assist with deterring the all too common habit of driving under the influence.

“We are also pleased that Government is committed to installing speed cameras around the island which, we believe, will assist greatly in reducing the problems of speed that we see island-wide.

“Any costs involved will hopefully be offset by the fines imposed for those who choose to break the law.

“We have highlighted the need for these initiatives in the past and will continue to campaign, along with other interested groups, for their introduction.”

In yesterday’s address, Ms Ferson maintained that Government would crack down on antisocial behaviour and violent crime linked to bars and clubs.

She said: “Accordingly, consultation will be held with the senior magistrates and the Bermuda Police Service for amendments to the Liquor Licensing Act to enhance the powers of a senior police officer to temporarily suspend a liquor licence when warranted.”

Mr Santucci told The Royal Gazette: “Clearly we are enthused by the mention of social host liability laws, which are designed specifically to address underage drinking. This is something that Cada has been talking about for a long time and will continue to elaborate on at upcoming town hall meetings.

“We are also pleased to see that roadside sobriety tests and speed cameras will be introduced. We have all seen the positive effects that these two measures can have in other parts of the world.

“Finally Cada is glad to see that Government will be looking at the Liquor Licensing Act, which is out of date and not consistent with best practices worldwide.”