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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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