ABC News had a story on last night's World News programme that dealt with texting on the cell phone while driving and the risks that it poses.
At least it's being discussed seriously at the government level. Here, it's allegedly being discussed behind the scenes (yeah right) but has failed to get much traction at the House of Assembly level.
Fact is that this is being ingrained into our driving culture and the powers that be are just as guilty of poor driving habits as the community at large, hence nothing is being done. We shouldn't need a new law prohibiting texting while driving or having cell phones wedged into our helmets while riding, but we're so damn pathetic and lack common sense that we absolutely need such a law to be implemented (and enforced) for us, to save ourselves from our stupidity and carelessness.
You know what else I saw this morning? A fella, riding BG 875, riding one-handed with cell phone lodged to his ear, overtaking traffic.
Carry on, Bermuda.
A silver Opel stops and waves his hand out, to allow a white car to enter Harbour Road. However, the driver of the white car doesn't even look in the other direction before barreling into the road.
A dump truck is in the other lane, of course, and has to stomp on the brakes pretty hard to avoid a collision. It took really quick reflexes to pull that off, considering that the road looked a little wet and there wasn't much time for him to react.
Since traffic headed into the city was still pretty much at a standstill, the driver of the truck, and I sure can't blame him for being upset, stopped to chastise the driver for that reckless move. It didn't seem like the driver paid the truck driver any mind at all.
A bit later, I was able to move past this car to see who it was that decided to play Bermuda's favourite traffic game.
A woman, cell phone lodged to her ear.
You, driver of 04778, are a menace to road users and need to put the phone down and focus on the road, or stick to catching the bus and ferry. Damn.
We don't have a "Turn on Red" signal anywhere on Bermuda's roads, but due to ineffective or invisible monitoring of locations like the traffic lights on Front Street near the Bank of Bermuda HQ, people are knowingly and willingly running red lights without any care for the LAW or people's own safety.
Phil posted a comment that implementing a system of cameras and automatically fining the owner of the vehicle is a way to go. I have no hope that our Government would consider such a thing because of a variety of reasons - which all are related to them always being in election mode. And unfortunately now that Michael Fahy's no longer a senator, further discussion of poor driving at the House or Senate level is likely to be close to zilch.
Let the anarchy continue.
Today's thoughtless driver was driving a grey Suzuki, 41259. She's applying her mascara and therefore keeping her eyes on herself and not the road. So if something suddenly came across her path, would she be able to react in time? Who knows.
Of course, the Police have chosen not to monitor traffic along East Broadway in the morning, instead counting on the public to police themselves or each other or something. Way to discourage bad driving habits, guys.
It's not been a good month for the police car drivers. Several reports in the news highlight collisions of recent times...
And today, while going up Scaur Hill, we see a collision where it looks like the police car rear-ended a car which may have been slowing down to turn.
Rained earlier this morning so slick roads could've been an issue. But either way, no excuses.
Can the Police issue their canned press releases to themselves regarding driving with care and caution?
The BIAW folks are gonna have a field day when they hear this news.
Seems like there are going to be a lot of growing pains with the new policy allegedly designed to improve service for everyone. Heck, who knows.
First and foremost, traffic collisions are all lumped together, and it's only road fatalities, which we of course can gather easily through the mass media, that we have other data to analyse. The fatality rate, of course, has not dropped at all over the past few years.
We don't know the trend with regards to serious road injuries, or the amount of collisions attributed to speeding, drunk driving or bad judgement (such as overtaking, cell phone use, etc.)
The raw numbers can be used to justify the current policy of using primarily speed traps and monthly blitzes for seatbelts and tint in monitoring road use and booking those who speed on straight roads, so maybe it's fair not to just take the numbers at face value but continue to question why or will there be further efforts taken such as using mobile or stationery cameras, inplementing more speed bumps, changing some of the pedestrian crossing locations or monitoring red light runners.
The Bermuda police released some statistics on crime last week and it's worth a read. The Police should be commended for making data available on the web and for updating their methods of producing the statistics. Crimes are categorised as one of six possible classifications, two of which focus on traffic issues, one on drug offences, and one each for crimes against the person, property and the community.
Side note: Bermuda Police, do not use Comic Sans for a professional document ever again. This is not a cartoon.
The concluding bullet points in the press release highlight an encouragement to businesses to install CCTV to aid in the recording of possible crimes and gathering of evidence. By the way, Corporation of Hamilton should be included as one of those businesses, particularly relating to the public car parks.
Also, touting Crimestoppers is continued and in a small community, people should be made aware of the hotline on a regular basis. Fact is that people are reluctant to report information that could help to catch criminals, whether it be through apathy, a desire to avoid possible retribution, lack of trust in the police or justice system or a combination of the above. But the community at large needs to bear some responsibility for helping restore some safety for the island's residents.
I'm parked at Bank of Bermuda this morning on the obviously one-way lane that circles the building, known as Point Pleasant Road (well the road name isn't really well known, to be honest, but I digress).
I then see this car coming along the road from Albouys Point. The wrong direction! Which means that despite the obvious visuals of cars on either side of the lane facing him, he still either was oblivious or simply determined to cut through.
He's met by a nice big truck that's just turned into the road.
The fella, clearly startled by this sudden development, considers asking him to back up, then looks behind him and I think he's shaken up. I feel bad for him. He has a young passenger in front so maybe that's the cause of it. He eventually backs up and perhaps realizes the correct way he should have taken to exit the area at this time.
I'm being very cruel here because I think this guy didn't deliberately break the law like so many other fools on the roads, but I'm still gonna BookTM him and his grey Atos 35712 for general lack of awareness and alertness on the roads.
To me, reading the article highlighted some disturbing trends among segments of Bermuda's youth. They include:
- People getting drunk and preparing to ride a bike
- young people showing no respect for authority (the police)
- young people using profanity and racial epithets
- young people feeling entitlement because of family being in a place of privilege, instead of their own merits, at least
And these aspects should be up for serious discussion. However, the PLP blog has decided to continue with their tunnel vision approach. That means, yup, racism. With a nice side order of calling the UBP out.
And as someone pointed out in one of the discussion forums, when senior PLP politicians are using the N-word on the radio or other forums.
Politics should really be the last aspect of this galling situation to be discussed, but it's probably asking to much to expect more mature responses.
Much work is still needed. My page needs some enhancements as well as some code adjustments. My Contact us form I don't think works as it should anymore, my links bar is in need of visual and other adjustments and of course the subsites need now to correspond more faithfully with the blog component (or, if I migrate to Wordpress, theirs).
But it's satisfying to have my familiar pastel coloured website up instead of black-on-white Notepad-looking pages. We're getting there, friends.
Same junction, this time though I'm at the exit of Point Pleasant Road (the road that goes around the Bank of Bermuda big-ass building). I watch traffic while I wait. I see the pedestrian light for my road has just gone red which means that soon it's time to go green. I think to myself, how many drivers are going to try to beat the light.
Two cars and a bike do so just before my light turns green. So I head out, looking to my right to make sure nothing else is plowing me down.
Yep, some bitch in a blue SUV has run (badly!) the red light and is maybe 4 yards away from me. I'm in disbelief, laughing to myself at the fact that people treat red lights as a suggestion rather than the freaking law.
I tried to look behind to get the licence number but no such luck. Why can't we have officers monitoring this area? Idiot drivers surely aren't going to listen to a private citizen, that's for sure.