Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, acknowledges the sobering fact that 16 lives have been lost to road traffic accidents in 2021 - I extend my condolences to the families and friends that are grieving the untimely loss of a loved one.
Mr. Speaker, with only a few weeks to go until Christmas, holiday parties will be taking place, which is why the Bermuda Road Safety Council’s (RSC) slogan for December is - Designate YOUR Driver!
Mr. Speaker, a designated driver is crucial for everyone to enjoy a safe holiday season. Designated drivers are an integral part of keeping roads safe, and by educating friends and family, we can work together to lower the number of accidents and deaths.
Mr. Speaker, an alarming trend observed by the Road Safety Council is persons choosing the “person who seems least intoxicated” of the group to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking instead of a completely sober driver. That is why it is crucial to designate a driver before any drinking takes place.
Mr. Speaker, with the holiday season approaching, there will be an increase in events and parties where alcohol will be consumed. The Bermuda Road Safety Council encourages all event planners, organisers and hosts of large events to incorporate a Transportation Plan. For assistance with implementing a Transportation Plan for your event, organisers should, in advance of the event, email email@example.com or contact the Road Traffic Officer at 707-2349.
Mr Speaker, we want everyone to have a safe holiday. If you cannot secure a designated driver, remember that there are always ways to get home safe without getting behind the wheel, such as hiring a taxi or minibus, using HITCH or Homesafe, or calling a family member or friend to come to pick you up. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge CADA for hosting their annual Let Us Drive initiative, which will take place on December 9th – 11th and 16th -18th, details of which will be announced in the media.
Mr. Speaker, in December, the Bermuda Road Safety Council, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, will launch the second annual P6 Road Safety Essay Competition on the topic - What dangers can you encounter when walking and riding your pedal bikes on the road, and what can you do to stay safe? Additionally, the first annual M1 Road Safety Essay Competition is on the topic: Why do we have speed limits and why are they so important?
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, the Road Safety Council and the Road Traffic Officer will continue to work with partner agencies in the Bermuda Police Service and the Ministry of National Security to educate the public of dangerous driving on Bermuda’s roads. The RSC will continue with its monthly public education and awareness campaigns.
Mr. Speaker, we recognise the impact road sobriety checkpoints have had on road safety, and the Ministry of Transport will be working with BPS and the RSC to reintroduce it for the holiday season.
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry believes that if we start the conversation on road safety with our children and everyone we love using Bermuda roads, we can make better road safety decisions..
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.