Ministerial Statement by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs the Hon. Walter H. Roban JP MP:
Mr. Speaker, today I will be tabling the Road Traffic (Road Sobriety Checkpoints) Amendment Act 2018. You will be aware that this government committed to introduce road sobriety checkpoints as part of an overall plan to improve road safety in Bermuda.
The Bill makes provision for the Senior Magistrate to authorize the police to conduct road sobriety checkpoints to stop all vehicles travelling through an authorized, predetermined location to check whether the driver is impaired. The purpose of these checkpoints is to deter driving after drinking by increasing the perceived risk of arrest. Drivers will be aware of an upcoming road sobriety checkpoint by a notice published in the Gazette, and the checkpoints will be highly visible with signage posted alerting drivers on the road of an upcoming checkpoint. I will share more details in my brief when the Bill is before the House.
Mr. Speaker, road safety is essential for all road users. Every year we are faced with the daunting reality of poor riding and driving practices that result in loss of life and many horrific injuries and lifetime disabilities – the vast majority of which are avoidable. This can no longer be tolerated – road safety is paramount in ending this dilemma.
Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the privilege of participating in the Bermuda Road Safety Council’s press conference where the Road Safety Officer of the Transport Control Department shared the government’s Road Safety Strategy 2018-2023. The objectives of the strategy are to:
- reduce road collisions by 25%;
- reduce road fatalities by 25%;
- introduce a comprehensive road safety education programme in schools;
- increase public awareness of road safety and road safety issues; and,
- decrease the incidents of reported driving under the influence cases.
Therefore, you will see that the introduction of road sobriety checkpoints is only a small component in our effort to combat the challenges we are facing with road safety. Over the next few weeks, there will be a series of meetings where the full strategy will be shared with the public. More details will be publicised very soon.
In the meanwhile, I urge all residents to drive responsibly and have consideration for the safety of themselves and other road users.
Thank You, Mr. Speaker!