Families tackle road deaths
The parents of those who lost their lives in road traffic crashes described the pain of losing their children last night.
Terrylynn Doyle said she was devastated by the loss of her son, Malik Weeks, on Christmas Day five years ago.
“It’s traumatic,” she said. “It’s debilitating, trying to live our life without our child.
“Knowing our son, he would have never dreamt of not being here. He was easygoing. He was kind. He was loving.
“People see the other side and really don’t know what families are confronted with just to go from day to day.”
Meanwhile, Valerie Petty, who lost her daughter Kerry in a collision in September, said the loss left her with a hole in her heart.
“She was simply going to work,” she said. “My son came looking for her saying she didn’t make it to work.
“Now she is buried right across the street from me so every time I look outside I know she’s there, which really hurts.”
They were only two of the voices who spoke out at a town hall meeting, organised by A Piece of the Rock, to discuss road safety.
Manish Thareja, who made the documentary A Piece of the Rock with Agam Jain, opened the meeting by detailing the extent of the “epidemic” of traffic collisions.
“Based on data provided by Bermuda Hospitals Board, since 2009 more than 15,000 people have been to the emergency room for road crashes and 100 people have died,” he said. “The three core issues causing this epidemic are driving under the influence, speeding and lack of proper training for new riders.
“There has been no government action on these issues over the past 20 years, so we urge our politicians from both the PLP and OBA to stop the politics and blame game as neither party has taken concrete action to comprehensively address road safety over the past 20 years.
“Bermuda is losing an entire generation of young males and the socio-economic and psychological impact on families and loved ones has been devastating.” His words were echoed by other panellists during the discussion, who noted that the bulk of those who lose their lives on Bermuda’s roads are between the ages of 16 and 35.
Throughout the evening the panellists stated the need for legislative change, including the introduction of a graduated licence system and roadside sobriety testing.
Mr Thareja also announced that A Piece of the Rock would be made available online in the hopes that every young person on the island can see it.
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