Transport Minister Walter Roban has announced the appointment of Dennis Lister III, as the new Chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, with a view to targeting young Black males in his age group in particular, to change the mindset when it comes to safety on Bermuda’s Roads.
The Progressive Labour Party MP for Warwick West, who is 32-years-old replaces Ali Bardgett as the new Chair. Ms Bardgett will stay on as Deputy.
Mr Lister brings five years of experience as a former council member from 2010 to 2016. As a young person in Bermuda, he said the time he served on the Road Safety Council led him to become passionate about trying to prevent his peers from becoming another statistic on Bermuda’s roads.
Minister Roban stated that with “a fresh new approach”, the time has come “to be more aggressive” to tackle what he termed a “national crisis”.
“I believe we will have to be more aggressive in our approach to dealing with road safety,” said Mr Roban.
“We want to begin to deploy some different ways of addressing the issue of road safety, which is a crisis, ans as I have informed the board previously perhaps we need to come to a point where we are making people a little less comfortable with the situation.
“We need to start having them see what the reality is and what the tragedy on our roads, and the damage that we are seeing on our roads – how it is truly affecting Bermuda. I welcome the continued support of Ms Bardgett and the other members to support Mr Lister and the government in this effort.”
Statistics compiled by the Bermuda Hospitals Board show that motorists between the age of 21 to 25 run the highest risk of becoming a road traffic fatality victim.
Bermuda’s males are seven times more likely to die than females, and Black males have a 60 percent higher risk than all other males of dying as a result of a road traffic accident.
Mr Roban noted that with a new Chairman who represents the council’s main target group, Mr Lister was considered “a good choice to be chairman”.
“One reason is that he is young person who is actually representative of the demographic that we need to influence. We’re expecting that he will bring a fresh new approach to our road safety efforts,” said Mr Roban.
“We need to have youth represented in the leadership of this effort as it is his age demographic from which we seem to have the greatest victims on the roads. Secondly, Mr Lister brings a vibrancy to the leadership and comes with five years’ experience on the council. He understands the need to change road safety perspectives in Bermuda.”
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