“Between road deaths and significant gun/knife deaths this year empty words by the Progressive Labour Party are proving again not to be enough to save Bermudian lives. It is nothing less than a national emergency.”

That’s how one blogger described the current state of affairs, following another tragic death on Christmas Day on Bermuda’s roads – this time claiming the life of a 26-year-old young man.

For the countless family members, relatives and friends of souls lost on Bermuda’s roads, word of another fatality on Christmas Day in Bermuda is nothing new. In fact, it reopens deep wounds – many have yet to heal – if ever!

It is a tragic fact that cuts deep every time it happens – and once again it happened again this year, marking the 17th road traffic death so far this year. We still have four more days to go!

In fact, 17 deaths to date in 2021, is the highest rate recorded since 1998 and 1983 when 17 deaths were also recorded.

1998 would be the same year the Progressive Labour Party made history with their inaugural government.

Just take a minute and let that sink in!

Think about all we’ve heard since then, after 14 years of a PLP government, followed by that one-trick term of the One Bermuda Alliance, followed by another four years and counting of this new PLP administration.

Think about how many Transport Ministers we’ve had since 1998 and then ask yourself – what have any of them done collectively about this road traffic issue besides WATCH IT GET WORSE OVER THE YEARS?

We’ve heard much of the same old same old rhetoric with little, if any effective action!

To Transport Minister Lawrence Scott – you are just the latest in a long string of ineffective, talk a lot of nonsense, do nothing Ministers. And see your Bermuda Road Safety Council Chairman and colleague Dennis Lister III – he’s another DREAMER JUST LIKE YOU! Only he comes with catchy slogans that sound nice on the radio and that’s about it!

Let’s forget what the bloggers have to say! The first question that comes to this reporter’s mind is where was Operation Vega on Christmas Day – having Christmas dinner perhaps?

Where are they all the rest of the days – on coffee breaks? Where’s your law enforcers on our roads daily – sleeping? 

With the exception of five minute set ups with officers armed with radar guns on East Broadway every now and then – maybe even once a week – where are they and what are they doing exactly?

Does the fact that Henny and Chivas is running low if at all island wide have anything to do with the behaviour we see on our roads daily? Have you even considered that maybe, just maybe the two top shots on island has anything to do with anything?

We already know that Bermudians love to drink on special occasions and any occasions they love to drink. But what about how they drink? Are back to back shots of Henny and Chivas really meant to be consumed back to back like that? No judgment here – JUST ASKING?

Does it have anything to do with people riding and driving up and down our roads daily like feaking maniacs? Is any of it drug related? 

Well, here’s what we know – 70 percent of all road traffic fatalities on Bermuda’s roads is connected to alcohol and/or drug use and/or abuse? 

That statistic has been around, circling around and around for years! It is the prime statistic we love to hear but not hear and more importantly – it is a figure we KNOW ALL TOO WELL and yet, all we do, is TALK ABOUT IT!

But what are we actually doing? We’ve heard the designated driver campaigns but are you directing them to black Bermudians? And if you are – don’t be surprised to hear that they are not listening!

Even if they are listening, how do you address the social behaviour as result of this drink and drive or ride mentality so firmly embedded in our culture. And even if you do address it, how do you break the cycle?

Other races on this island seem to manage to get home in one piece despite their alcohol consumption – so what’s missing here?

Do we just sit back and blame the police, who cannot be everywhere at all times – but where are they? How many of them drink at Police Club? Do they set up the alco analyser at the foot of Prospect Hill for them as well? Again – just asking?

If we’re looking for leadership in this area on the part of the police – can we ask? Who do we ask? Do they even have a new Commissione of Police yet? How long does that take exactly? Does the woman on the hill – Bermuda’s first Black female Governor even know? After all, she’s the one in charge of the Bermuda Police Service – what’s the answer? Do you even know that Black Bermudian boys have a 70 percent chance over and above any other race on this island of dying on Bermuda’s roads! My other question is: Do you even care?

It may just be worth a visit to Langton Hil to ask you face to face but for now we want to see how long it takes for you to appoint a new commissioner and we’ll wait to see just who that is!

But in the interim, a quick glance at the blogs will show that Mr and Mrs Joe Average are sick of all of you and your hollow rhetoric!
Here’s highlights of daily newspaper bloggers since Christmas Day 2021 on Road Traffic Deaths:
  • “The failure of our leadership is costing lives. No consequences if you crash – in Bermuda insurance pays for everything. No policing – Budget Cut by Government – Aleinates the voter. No policy to actually take dangerous drivers off the road – Aleinates the voter. And, after 25 years of neglect the roads themselves are as lethal as our drivers.”
  • “Trenching cuts leaving dangerous ridges. No resurfacing at all… just willful neglect. Year after year the invisible Minister of Works collects his $186,000 for doing nothing. Sickening.
  • “What we have time after time is totally predicable crashes caused by humans & their behaviour on the roads. 
  • “Firstly I’d like to extend my condolences to the family. What follows has nothing to do with this particular situation. It has come to a point that every single time I’m at a traffic signal, people are running red lights with no regard for anyone else. Let me stop you. I’m on the road all day every day. EVERY TIME I COME TO A TRAFFIC SIGNAL PEOPLE ARE RUNNING RED LIGHTS. EVERY SINGLE TIME. EVERY SET OF LIGHTS. I do not know how else to get this message across. IT IS EVERY SINGLE TIME. It has got this bad. We all get the opportunity to wake up every single day and not be a cöčķjûğģľįńģ ťhůņđěřčùñť, but it almost seems to be am olympic sport here. Why don’t you wake up and think of someone other than yourself.”
  • Lawrence Scott – you are supposed to be the minister for transport, it falls to you to actually DO SOMETHING. If on reflection you realise that your not qualified to do the job then either go overseas for training or quit. Your failure to support the police who requested spot breathalyser testing, will lead to road users getting hurt and killed. Time will tell if this road user was murdered by a selfish scum drink driver.”
  • “We Bermudians have lost our way. I grew up in a different time. If I have offended you, good, sort your life out.”
  • “Proactive of his own self interests like the rest.”
  • “I feel very sad for the family of this young man. These road deaths are absolutely avoidable. Bermuda road deaths have reached an alarmingly hight rate yet we have a government that parses its words when asked whether or not the spate of recent road fatalities have reached the stage of a national emergency. When is this country/government going to take speeding and drunk driving seriously?”
  • “Bad news. Yet government concentrates its attention, actions and press releases on COVID, whilst traffic deaths are virtually ignored. Someone is responsible for the mayhem on our roads, yet on one points a finger at the responsible parties; but most important of all, government does nothing – or at best very little. The public, and voters, derserve better.”
  • And yet Operation Vega is still pushed hard.”
  • “Speed is not the problem. As you say, ‘Do not take chances’. We have too many risk takers/gamblers. After these dare devils crash we continue to call these crashes accidents. I will sing this song forever. They are not accidents. A, we need to change our language and call them what they are. They gambled and lost. It cannot be an accident if you are deliberate in actions that you know are not safe. They are not accidents-period. Aso, do we need to personalize the message eg: ‘for your own safety drive safely’. The Police illuminated billboard says, “ÏTS THE LAW”. This just get me riled. I do not think that gets through. Again, personalize message. e.g. Drive safely, Think of your well being and your family. Better late than DEAD on time.”
  • “Speed does matter. However, drunk drivers are worse.”
  • It is exactly what I am trying to say. The rate at which you travel has to be done with respect to the road condition, the tightness of curves/turn in the road, and lighting, etc. You cannot overtake safely at 20mph. But, you can have serious crash at 20mph too, even if one does not often die.”
  • “”This is a very sad occasion for this tragedy – and we will have to await the “police report”, but someone was obviously at fault! Slow down and do NOT take unnecessary chances – ALSO, PLEASE DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!!!”

    “We don’t need Operation Vega. We need for the existing traffic laws to be enforced consistently.”