When it comes down to reckless behaviour by motorists, of course Operation Vega has been racking them up, one by one, one month, every month, at a time.
But when it comes down to changing, or reversing the daily occurrence of the blatant madness we witness on our roads daily, this so-called crackdown fails miserably!
Two years later and the monthly crackdown continues, with figures that show there is no end in sight to the countless motorists streaming steadily though our courts.
In terms of changing what we already know are the trends, what has Operation Vega really?
Launched under former Commissioner of Police, Stephen Corbishley’s watch more than two years ago, as an “all-service” operation, what has Operation Vega acheieved really?
The former Commissioner stated back then, said our “current framework of enforcement in Bermuda is not strong enough”.
Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, former head of the Bermuda Police Service’s Roads Policing Unit, echoed those remarks saying Operation Vega would seek to bring some calm on our roads.
And then there was all the talk about using speed camera, which ultimately amounted to all talk.
Police also launched an online reporting portal where members of the public can instantly upload videos and pictures of any road traffic offences they witness, at: https://portal.police.bm/operation-vega.
But we have not heard too much about that since.
Meanwhile, the latest tally, from January 1 through to August 7, saw 162 motorists arrested for impaired driving – 14 in January, 27 in February, 25 in March, 21 in April, 30 in May, 23 in June, 19 in July and 3 from 1st – 7th August. In comparison, for the same period in 2022, a total of 145 motorists were arrested for impaired driving.
From July 1 to August 7, 683 traffic tickets were issued, up from the 330 issued in June 2023, and 91 motorist advice notices (official written warnings) were issued, up from 48 in June.
Parking tickets totalled 369, up from 275 tickets issued in June, while more than 10,635 tickets were issued since the start of Operation Vega in July 2021.
Back in April, a Bermuda Real article pointed up the fact that nearly 10,000 tickets were issued in the first quarter of this year, as a result of Operation Vega.
That was in spite of the constant and blatant disregard for our traffic laws – not to mention the ongoing round the clock ‘non-presence’ of police on Bermuda’s roads
As of March 2023 – a total of 9,230 traffic tickets were issued by police, which in turn raises revenue, in an ailing economy.
Consider the taxpaying revenue raised through the monthly fines meted out in our courts as a result of Operation Vega – do the math!
As stated in that article – it may just be worth it to go through the tiring routine of wrangling through the court system and the media fiasco journalists go through, to find out just how much money that really is.
But over and above all that – what does it say about reversing the disturbing trends, and the psyche of Bermuda’s motoring public?
Could it be that the majority, both the young and the not so young, are hellbent on riding, or driving like bats straight out of hell.
Now here we are – just over two years later. watching the trends continue, while reading, or hearing the latest tally monthly, on what we already know.
All this, while not one bit of it has caused our motorists to just slow down – or at least try to do something about the daily carnage on our roads, as the number of “serious injury collisions continues.
And once again, as stated before, and in keeping with what could now be another “Bermuda tradition”, the number one traffic offence committed daily on Bermuda’s roads continues to be speeding!
The big question is – now what? And what does it say about the general disregard for our laws when it comes to our roads?
Is it enough to regurgitate the latest monthly tally on road traffic offenders without finding ways to change the disturbing trends we have witnessed over the years?
Now that we have seen two road traffic fatalities occur within 24 hours more than once, just how many more road deaths would it take to change our reckless motoring ways?
When asked by Bermuda Real, just how much money has been allocated out of the public purse for the Bermuda Road Safety Council, a Ministry of Transport spokesperson said:
“The Ministry of Transport increased the BRSC 2023/24 budget by 46%, in addition to expanding creative resources from the Department of Communications.”
Has it been money well spent, considering the death toll from the tragic loss of life on our roads, not to mention the real costs of serious damage and injuries caused by road traffic accidents – you decide!
Then ask yourselves whether or not Operation Vega without any real plan to reverse the curse of our roads, as it stands now, is worth it, for whatever it is worth?
Can we do better? Of course we can!
The question why do we continue to fail to do better?
Better yet – do we even want to?
That too, would be a matter for you to decide, while the madness continues!
Ceola Wilson, Executive Producer, BermudaReal.com