11/2023 – 13 road fatalities – the year’s victims are presented here.
Bermuda is a small island nation with a population of about 64,000 people and a road network of about 225 km. Despite its size, Bermuda has one of the highest rates of road fatalities in the world.
Possibly a reason is the lack of public transportation options in Bermuda. The island has only one bus service and no trains or subways. This means that most people rely on private vehicles, such as cars and scooters, to get around.
Some roads in Bermuda are narrow, winding, and may be maintained.
They also have a speed limit of 35 km/h, which, it appears, is frequently ignored by drivers. These conditions can create a high risk of collisions and accidents, especially for inexperienced or reckless drivers.
Possibly, the attitude towards road safety in Bermuda in issue – some may view driving as a form of expression and entertainment, rather than a means of transportation. This can lead to risky behaviours, such as speeding, racing, overtaking, and drinking and driving – there may be more to the ‘joke’ the island is home to ‘65,000 alcoholics clinging to a rock’!
When ‘Bing’ (AI) was asked why there were so many road fatalities on the island, another factor given was:
‘… the inadequate enforcement and regulation of road safety in Bermuda. The island has a limited number* of police officers and traffic cameras to monitor and control the traffic flow. The penalties for violating traffic laws are also low and inconsistent, which does not deter offenders from repeating their mistakes. Moreover, the legal system in Bermuda is slow and inefficient, which delays the prosecution and conviction of those responsible for causing road deaths.
These are some of the factors that explain why there are so many deaths on Bermuda’s roads. To address this issue, Bermuda needs to implement a comprehensive and coordinated strategy that involves improving the infrastructure, increasing the public transportation options, raising the awareness and education of road users, enforcing and regulating the traffic laws, and strengthening the legal system. Only then can Bermuda reduce its road fatalities and improve its road safety.’
*Astounding to think the island has one of the highest rates of officers per inhabitants, in the world, comparable to countries like Brunei, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda. Possibly, Bermuda needs to concentrate upon officer quality, rather than quantity?
‘Bing’ had the following to offer:
According to the Bermuda Police Service, the number of people who have been prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit in 2023 has increased by 15% compared to the previous year. The police attribute this rise to the lack of public awareness about the dangers of speeding, as well as the increased use of motorcycles and scooters on the island. The speed limit in Bermuda is 35 km/h (22 mph) for all vehicles, except for buses and trucks, which have a lower limit of 25 km/h (16 mph). The police have been conducting regular speed checks and issuing tickets to offenders, as well as educating drivers about the risks of speeding and the benefits of safe driving. The police hope that by enforcing the law and raising awareness, they can reduce the number of speed-related accidents and fatalities in Bermuda.