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Bermuda Road Safety Council: ‘We can no longer turn a blind eye’

Dennis Lister III, the chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda’s road-safety organisation has extended condolences to the families of those who died in recent traffic incidents, saying it will intensify efforts to educate the public.

The island recorded its tenth road death of the year on Tuesday.

Dennis Lister III, the chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, said that the recent series of tragic road deaths should serve as a reminder that road safety should be a priority.

He highlighted the importance of road-safety education and awareness, saying that the council will intensify its efforts in this area and support better enforcement and penalties that “fit the crime and where necessary serve as deterrents”.

Mr Lister said: “With deep sadness, the BRSC extends its heartfelt condolences to the families affected by the recent tragic road-traffic fatalities. Our sincerest sympathies are with you during this difficult time.

“The events of the past week serve as a stark reminder of the utmost importance of prioritising road safety.

“Since 1997, Bermuda has witnessed the loss of over 200 precious lives on our roads. Unfortunately, news of road fatalities has become distressingly commonplace, and we must not allow ourselves to grow desensitised. It is imperative that we break free from this mindset and ask ourselves, ‘How can I contribute to being a safer driver or rider?’ Safe driving and riding practices should be integrated into our daily travels.

“As a community we can no longer turn a blind eye, assuming that road-safety concerns do not affect us personally. It is crucial that we abandon the notion of disregard for, and noncompliance with, traffic rules. The BRSC recognises that change begins at the individual level and must be accompanied by a three-pronged approach to modifying behaviour.”

The Bermuda Road Safety Council’s three-pronged approach to improving road safety

Education and Awareness: the Bermuda Road Safety Council, along with our stakeholders and community partners, will intensify our efforts to educate and raise awareness about road safety. We encourage all residents to initiate conversations about road safety. They should challenge their friends and loved ones to adopt safer driving and riding habits.

Enforcement: we reaffirm our support for the efforts of the Bermuda Police Service in enforcing traffic laws and apprehending traffic offenders. It is encouraging to hear that the Ministry of National Security is progressing with the enhancement of CCTV technology.

Penalties: the third prong of our approach involves penalties for violations of the traffic code. The BRSC firmly asserts that penalties fit the crime and where necessary serve as deterrents. It is crucial that the punishment fits the crime. The most effective way to deter individuals from reoffending is to ensure that the penalty induces a change in behaviour.

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Published June 22, 2023 at 12:01 pm (Updated June 22, 2023 at 9:19 pm)

Bermuda Road Safety Council: ‘We can no longer turn a blind eye’

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