One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) MP Sylvan Richards, issued a heartfelt appeal to motorists to take time out to reflect on “our personal behaviour” and rise to the level of “amending” that behavior”.
The Hamilton South (C7) MP rose during the Motion to Adjourn on Friday evening, to speak on the 14th road traffic fatality recorded on Bermuda’s roads this year.
The fatal crash occurred just before 10pm on Thursday night (Nov 9), near the ‘Lantana’ property, that claimed the life of 34-year-old Mendell Outerbridge.
This latest accident leaves another two families hard hit by tragedy, he said, with one family that has lost a son, and another family who has lost another young father. “Everybody has lost someone to a road traffic accident in Bermuda,” he said.
He spoke of his own love for motorcycles and said: “I still ride to this day. But I can still cast my mind back to friends I have lost through fatalities, from the age of 16 to their 40s.
“If it was a disease it would be a public health crisis because in this country it’s taking young black males,” said Mr Richards.
He agreed on roadside sobriety checks as a deterrent. But ultimately, he said: “It is a question of personal choice.”
He also stated that “a fair percentage” of road traffic accidents are alcohol related, and that alcohol has a tendency to invoke feeling “invincible”. But as a country, he said: “We have lost too many lives. It’s a crisis.”
And the only way forward, he said, is to somehow come to grips with it.
“Life is precious and fragile. Last night (Thursday) was not a good night for me. I saw a mother who lost her son, a sister who lost her brother, and it keeps happening over and over.”
On this Remembrance Day holiday weekend, he called on the island’s residents to remember all of those who have lost loved ones due to road traffic fatalities on Bermuda’s roads.
He also issued a genuine appeal to motorists, particularly those attending a host of sporting events on tap, where “lots of alcohol will be served”, to keep in mind that there will be “lots of driving going on” with boxing, rugby and football this weekend.
“Let’s all reflect on our personal behaviour,” said Mr Richards.
“Let’s talk about amending our behaviour. And with that said, I wish everyone a safe weekend.”