2007-05-31

About our road fatalities

Ever since my old buddy from my neighbourhood died in a road collision incident earlier this year, I've held back from my passionate stance on the state of Bermuda's drivers. I don't recall the last time I publically condemned someone on my blog for doing something insane like overtaking me on a corner (it's happened many times), dashing across pedestrian crossings (ditto) or other illegal driving activities tolerated in this country.

After reading that a seventh person has died on our roads this year, and oddly enough, in a place very close to where I live, and seeing the usual Road Safety Council spiel of "please slow down" speeches, I wasn't thinking about lamenting the state of the roads but rather my thoughts went to the family of this guy and also to the parents and family of my old buddy. I wish that the powers that be would actually take decisive action such as increasing the police presence on the roads, adding traffic cameras (not speedometers!), increasing the fines/penalties for violating the laws of the road, anything that's more threatening than a sign erection, but I seriously don't see it happening anytime this year.

On the forum at BermudaSucks there's a post that discusses why there are these road traffic fatalities, and I am of the opinion that each of the fatalities could have been avoided by better judgement of the riders including my buddy. Someone indicated that accidents happen, but I think there are only a few incidents that are unpreventable. Probably something along the level of a sudden lightning strike. If people are speeding, they can slow down. If people are drunk, they can stop right there. If people are sleepy, they can also stop and wait. If the road is slippery or in bad shape, again, slow down and be alert. If an animal darts across the road, you should be travelling slow enough to be aware of it in the first place.

Collectively we're all responsbile, but I don't think we're prepared to deal with it. I just fear that I'm going to be the guy on the other side of the street when a sliding out-of-control bike or car is headed straight at me.

1 comment:

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Too many times I see young Bermudians boys racing with their bikes at horrific speeds, sometimes precariously balancing themselves as they use their cellphone. Do they not realize how dangerously they drive? I know some expats are no better but often you see these young Bermudian boys involved in fatal accidents & they are no more than 20. I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it must be for their families that are left behind. I've lost a couple of family members to motorbike accidents in India, one that took place 30 years ago & one that was more recent. Needless to say their parents have never recovered from their loss.