We need a Road Rules Champion

I am glad that Bermuda Blue has contributed worthy topics related to road safety and the often-ignored fact that our fatality rate for road traffic-related incidents is still ridiculously high.

At current rate, we will have several more fatalities this year. That's several more phone calls to families, several more funerals. Maybe we the public need to think this way, to realize how proactive we ought to be with regard to road safety. I can do what I can to stay safe, but can I avoid being struck by someone who runs a red light, or who 'makes the nip' a bit too tightly?

For unknown reasons, road deaths get little more than the token acknowledgement by TPTB and the refrain of 'slow down', when what the country needs is a full-out change of tack, which needs to start from the top.

The Minister of Transport, or Public Works (and their Shadows), needs to champion the cause for improving the standard of driving on a daily basis. Get the Police, the Road Safety Council together, and dedicate real and ongoing resources to clamp down on atrocious driving habits and drive home the point that reckless driving behaviours would be punished. Drive home the point that driving under the influence of alcohol will be punished. Encourage road users who may be exhausted to not take the chance at falling asleep at the wheel. Improve street lighting and the quality of our road surfaces. Ensure our sidewalks and footpaths are clear for pedestrian traffic. Bring back signage to our pedestrian crossings and blind corners.

I put emphasis on 'ongoing' because bad habits in Bermuda are harder to get rid of than good ones. A two-week P.R. campaign+ traffic blitz isn't going to do it. Look at how many people still flout the law on mobile phone abuse, for example. We allowed it to become such an epidemic that once Government finally got around to legislation, it was pretty much a vain exercise at that point. A six-month campaign at the minimum needs to be put into place. There are enough creative minds in place here that can come up with cost-effective means to promote safe driving and pedestrian habits on a sustained basis.

Or will we be lamenting a half-dozen more deaths before year's end?

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