Road safety measures welcomed

Road Safety Council chairwoman Ali Bardgett has said she looks forward to working with the new government towards the common goal of making Bermuda’s roads safer.

Ms Bardgett was speaking after road safety measures were mentioned in the Throne Speech on Friday which pledged “sobriety checkpoints and increased penalties” to reduce the number of people who drink and drive.

The PLP also made mention of road safety in its 2017 platform which, in addition to the above measures, vowed to work in collaboration with the council, along with local insurers, to improve the quality of the Project Ride programme.

Impaired driving and speeding are the two biggest contributors to death and injury on the roads in Bermuda, according to the Bermuda Police Service.

The Road Safety Council is appointed by government to make recommendations on how to improve road safety.

Ms Bardgett, told The Royal Gazette: “The Road Safety Council is pleased to see that road safety was included in the Throne Speech and the PLP’s 2017 platform.

“With the high number of people being killed and injured on our roads, our government is supporting and implementing important measures to improve road safety.

“We look forward to continuing to work together towards this common goal.”

There were close to 13,000 injuries on Bermuda’s roads between 2009 and 2015 and 75 deaths in the same period. There have been ten deaths on the road this year alone.

Road safety advocates including the council, Cada, the Bermuda Police Service and the team behind the recent documentary A Piece of the Rock, have been working with the government to help come up with solutions. Measures that have been discussed included sobriety testing without the need for officers to suspect foul play, speed cameras and improved standards for driver training.

The former administration had set in motion a plan to install speed cameras and red light cameras.

A pilot licencing programme was also introduced by Argus insurance at Berkeley Institute that provides on-road training using two-way headsets so that the student and trainer can communicate.