Archive for April, 2008

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I’m gotta get me a Government job!

April 28, 2008

According to Mr DeVent :

Government is one of those jobs where you can be there forever and not have the demands and pressures of deadline.  (This explains a lot) I would think it’s not a stressful and difficult job.

Nuff said.

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Road horror accidents

April 24, 2008

I’m all for ‘generating an emotional response from the public, to “shock” the public into taking action and making the right choice with regard to their driving behaviour’ (Road Safety Council spokesman), I’m just not sure if the realistic accidents spread throughout the island are the way to go.  According to the article in today’s Royal Gazette, there were several calls to 911 reporting the fake accidents and motorists stopping to help.  I’m sure they also caused a few fender benders as drivers took their eyes off the road to gawk at the fake accidents. Case in point: today’s front page picture in Royal Gazette.

Can we find a way to make the public more aware without causing more accidents in the process?

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Bike Curfew

April 23, 2008

The Road Safety Council’s executive officer Roxanne Christopher-Petgrave spoke to the Hamilton Rotary club yesterday detailing the idea of a new ‘Graduated Licence’ training programme.  The programme includes a ban from towing for the first two years, all youth (ages 16-18 )  be off the road no later than 11pm and an extended 25-hour Project Ride course.  Several countries have graduated licence programmes – I’m most familiar with Canada’s where at 16, youth can take a written test and obtain a G1 licence.  This allows youths to drive but they cannot be under the influence of alcohol, they cannot travel on major highways and there must be a person present in the car with a full G license.  After a period time (could be 18 months can’t remember), the youth can take a driving test for their G2 license. Once obtained youths are able to drive others, they cannot be under the influence and they cannot travel on major highways.  A second driving test is taken for proficiency in highway driving (after another year period again can’t remember exactly) before the youth obtains their full G licence. When you look at Bermuda’s system (in terms of bikes) we already sort of have a graduated licence system.  Youths, at age 16, take both a written and driving test and are only allowed to obtain a licence for an axillary cycle (50cc).  The drinking age in Bermuda is 18, therefore youths should technically not be under the influence of alcohol at any time.  At 18, youths are allowed to take a driving test for a full motorcycle license and are of legal drinking age. 

I agree with increasing the Project Ride programme to a 25 hour course, but I’m not sure if restricting towing and curfews are really going to make a difference.  These recommendations involve policing which many residents, I think, would agree there has been a lack of on Bermuda’s roads. Bermuda’s roads would be safer all around with an increase in policing alone. I’m not sure if penalizing the 16-18 year-olds on the island is the answer.   

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Legislating Road Safety

April 22, 2008

Premier Ewart Brown has issued yet another appeal for motorists to exercise safety.  One approach currently being explored is additional legislation. However, even the Premier admits he doubts further legislation is going to work.

I am compelled to tell you that I don’t know how much new legislation will help our current situation. I believe so many of our road tragedies happen not because of legislation, but in spite of it. Legislation requires that we wear seat belts, too often it is ignored. Legislation carries stiff penalties for those who drive legally drunk, yet it still happens. Legislation outlines a specific speed limit for our roads, yet drivers routinely drive too fast.

Clearly legislation is not the answer, so why are we spending more of the tax’s payers money exploring this option further?  Assistant Commissioner Jackman seems to have clued in that there is a need for education on road safety and unsafe behaviour through law enforcement.

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Free public transportation

April 21, 2008

There was an interesting article in the Toronto Star this weekend addressing easing traffic and congestion with the possibility of free public transportation.  There were some interesting points brought up:

  • Idea of user-pay driving to pay for public transit so transit riders pay less put forth by Bern Grush, who authors a transportation blog called Grush Hour.
  • Free transportation can cause an increase in vandalism and lack of respect as was seen in Austin, TX where the project was, “abandoned in part because bus drivers complained of rowdy passengers and regular transit riders were upset by overcrowding.”
  • However, maintaining a reduced-fare for public transportation still requires a collection system.  (This point is slightly less relevant in Bermuda since there are only a hand full of employees that sell tickets/passes so I don’t think this would amount to a massive expense as opposed to a city the size of Toronto).
It has been discussed over on 21 Square that the RFID readers that have been put up on every major access point to Hamilton could be used for congestion tolls. As we saw with ‘Burn Fat, Not Fuel’ Day, making public transportation free is clearly not enough to cause residents to start taking public transit instead of private vehicles – maybe congestion tolls are the answer?  As I’ve ranted on about before, free public transportation will flop with the current lack of frequency and coverage.  

 

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Losing our Courtesy and Politeness?

April 17, 2008

I have been walking/running the railway trails and along South Shore of late and saddened by what appears to be Bermudians loss of courtesy and politeness (a trait of our culture has been consistently raved about by our tourists).  I make an effort to try and acknowledge other passing pedestrains or cyclists. Lately, I have received few returns and in some cases disapproving glances.  I remember growing up and walking the railway trails with my family and being told by parents to greet everyone that passes by.  I hope this isn’t an aspect of our Bermudian culture that falls by the waste side. 

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Continue to burn fuel

April 12, 2008

Well, it’s look as though Burn Fat, Not Fuel day pretty much flopped in terms of the numbers that took public transportation.  We don’t have figures on the number of people that walked/cycled vs. regularly drive, but I didn’t hear of a great reduction in traffic Friday morning from co-workers.  The Royal Gazette quoted Derek Wellman a Rockway ferry pilot:

Mr. Wellman said he thought ‘Burn Fat Not Fuel Day’ was “a good idea”, but he said that having it on a Friday was less likely to make a difference.

“I think if they’d had it on any other day they would have had a bigger response because on Fridays people tend to drive more because they go out to dinner or stay in town to have drinks.”  

Further support of my previous rant that there is not enough public tranportation after 6:30pm.