29% increase in traffic fatalities

29% increase in traffic fatalities
The driver's side of the mangled wreck, which claimed the life of the country's 13th traffic fatality for 2018.

Pedestrian deaths nearly doubled


NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Fatal car crashes trended upward once again in 2018 with a reported 29 per cent increase in deaths involving motor vehicles, according to statistics released by Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson this week.

There were 63 traffic accidents last year which resulted in 69 deaths.

In 2017, 54 people were killed in traffic accidents.

This represented a 23 per cent increase over 44 people killed in car accidents in 2016.

According to the data for 2018, of the 69 deaths, 31 were pedestrians; 20 were drivers; 12 were passengers; three were bicyclists and another three were motorcyclists.

The number of pedestrians killed last year is nearly double the 16 pedestrians killed in 2017.

More than three times as many men were killed as women last year — 53 men and 16 women.

Traffic deaths were also more prevalent among people between ages 46 and 55.

Sixteen people were killed in this group.

This represents an increase in traffic deaths in this age bracket, which saw eight people between 46 and 55 killed in 2017.

In 2018, 15 people between the ages 26 and 35 were killed; 14 between 36 and 45; 12 between 18 and 25; another six, 66 and over; three, 17 and under; and three between 56 and 65.

A closer look at the data shows that that vast majority of these deaths occurred on New Providence and Grand Bahama.

Of the 69 traffic fatalities, 42 took place on New Providence; 11 on Grand Bahama; four on Abaco; three on Eleuthera; and one each of the islands of Exuma, Long Island and San Salvador.

During his annual ‘Meet the Press’ at police headquarters, the commissioner highlighted the number of traffic fatalities last year and said it was a “major concern”.

He said the police force made steps to increase road safety and will continue to focus on limiting these incidents in the upcoming year.

“Having assessed the traffic statistics in those areas, 25 new motorcycles were deployed to assist in the management of road safety,” Ferguson told the media.

“Thirteen cycles were assigned to New Providence, five to Grand Bahama, two each to Abaco and Exuma and one each to Long Island, Eleuthera and Cat Island, as we recognized the streets in those areas as somewhat dangerous.”

Of the traffic victims last year; 51 were Bahamian and 13 were Haitian.

Other nationalities, including American, Jamaican, Indian, Filipino and Indonesian made up the other six deaths.