Friday, March 28, 2008

To the left, to the left

I've now been driving on the left hand side of the road for almost a year and may I say, I've made the mistake of switching to the opposite side of the road just once, while I was coming out of the gas station. The whizzing by of a car stopped me before I could even think about turning into the main road on the wrong side and thus gave me a rude reminder that I was driving in Bermuda. This is where it gets complicated, when you're day dreaming and a turn onto the wrong side of the road is all you need to cause a an accident or even worse, a fatality. While driving a car is much more safer than a bike, it's what will collide with your car that you have to watch out for.

This past week saw the death of an American visitor, who was driving a rental bike (scooter). She leaves behind her husband and 2 children, one of which (her daughter) was with her at the time of the accident. This was her second visit. A family now mourns the loss of their wife/mother. How incredibly sad and unfortunate!

Of course issues have re cropped as to how tougher measures should be put into place to screen North American visitors to ensure that they can handle driving a scooter (since car rentals are not an option in Bermuda) because the current philosophy of 'Don't Worry' & 'Driving around first in the parking lot is all the practice you need' is just not going to cut it. But no matter how rigorous the screening that may take place, you are bound to switch back to your old ways of driving on the right hand side of the road. Like I said, I've been driving for almost a year on the left hand side of the road, and I sometimes still stop and think about which side of the road I should embark on, right after I remember my current co-ordinates.


bermudabluez said...

That's the reason I never drive in Bermuda! My husband is in charge of driving the scooter!! I'm just along for the ride...and we go when there is not much going Feb / March!

Irish Coffeehouse said...

We have had the luxury of travelling to BDA both in 09/07 and again ealier this year. While there in September we talked about getting a scooter on our return trip. Yep, that was nixed quickly!

Of couse I'm deeply sorry for the loss this woman's family will face. Quite frankly, given the ample forms of safe, effective and highly organized forms of public transportation, I don't think tourists should be allowed to drive. During both trips we watched too many attempting round abouts and not doing a great job.