Stop turning blind eye to drink drivers, urges OBA’s Jackson
The Opposition One Bermuda Alliance is calling on anyone who sees intoxicated friends attempting to drive home after a night out to stop them.
Susan Jackson, the shadow transport minister, made the appeal in the run-up to Christmas — a time when “libations will be flowing in abundance”.
Ms Jackson said that everyone had a public duty to stop others from getting behind the wheel if they were over the drink-drive limit.
She added that the Government should introduce a preventive drink-driving education class for those learning to drive.
In a statement, Ms Jackson said: “If one chooses to indulge, that’s their right, but once they decide to operate a vehicle afterwards, they are blatantly disregarding the wellbeing of every road user they pass as soon as they turn the key.
“For too long Bermudians have turned a blind eye to driving drunk. We can no longer hope ‘they make it home safely’ but instead must take a firm stand that driving under the influence will not be tolerated.”
Ms Jackson said that roadside sobriety testing and a high police visibility acted as deterrents to drink-driving but that the public also had a role to play.
“Many people under the influence believe they are invincible,” she said.
“Ask the family member of someone who ‘s lost their life due to drink driving if that is in fact, the truth.”
“To those of you who have historically stood by and said nothing as a drunk driver pulls off, do something different this year. Stop them.”
Ms Jackson praised the work of the Bermuda Road Safety Council but said that its messages often appeared to go unheard.
She said: “While its efforts are applauded, are they actually making a difference?”
Referring to her suggestion that the Government set up an education programme on the dangers of drink driving, Ms Jackson said: “I believe once people are aware of the involuntary effects from driving while drunk, there is a lasting impression of the consequences — an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
“It’s unacceptable for an irresponsible driver to cause unnecessary misery to innocent road users, so I implore all operators of vehicles: do not drink and drive, even when you think you’re okay. Those are the times when more often than not, that you aren’t.
“As we celebrate over this holiday season, have fun, but please be responsible. Have a designated driver, catch a cab, walk if you can, but please don’t operate a vehicle while under the influence.”