We must get serious on road safety — Minister

Posted by on Oct 17, 2010 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

BERMUDA must re-think road safety following the road traffic death of Earlston Kavon Bailey-Smith, according to Works and Engineering Minister Derrick Burgess.

Derrick Burgess

Mr. Bailey-Smith, 31, died early Monday morning after crashing his cycle at the junction of Crow Lane and Corkscrew Hill. His death marked the tenth road fatality for the year.

Mr. Burgess, while expressing sympathies to his family, told the media more must be done to encourage road safety.

Here’s part of his statement:

On Monday of this week, our community awakened to the disturbing news that yet another young Bermudian had lost his life in a traffic collision.

Our heartfelt sympathy in this regard is extended to the family of 31 year old Earlston Kavon Bailey Smith.

The community had lost another of its young people to the carnage of our roads, the tenth road traffic fatality of the year. Once again, the questions beg:

Why?

Why should the incidence of traffic collisions be so high in a country whose speed limit should make its roads the safest in the world?

What more can be done to encourage safer and more responsible conduct on the roads?

Why is there such a rush to get anywhere in Bermuda?

We must, we must, as a community, turn our attention to the reasons for this state of affairs and what we might do as a community to improve the situation.

Certainly, the Government is using all of the resources available to it in order to address this very alarming situation.

At the forefront is the Bermuda Police Service, charged with the responsibility of ensuring that road traffic users adhere to the law and the rules of the road, thereby ensuring safe passage for all road users.

The Ministry of Works and Engineering is a key stakeholder in this matter also. The condition of the road surface is of obvious importance in any consideration of road safety.

To this end, the Highways Section constantly assesses our roads to determine if additional road signage and the introduction of other road calming devices will enhance the safety of the motoring public.

In particular, they examine frequent accident spots and regularly make changes in these areas.

Consistent with our proactive stance, three weeks ago we requested from the Bermuda Police Service a current list of frequent accident spots in the Island.

We immediately turned our attention to that report in order to determine if there was any aspect of the identified roads that required improvement.

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