Number of road collisions real concern says senior cop

| 04/01/2011

(CNS): As the RCIPS’ annual holiday road safety campaign –Operation Rotate- came to a close officials have revealed that there were almost 300 smashes in a six week period. One senior police officer said that the number was excessive for such a small country and that action is required to improve road safety standards from all relevant agencies. During the campaign police said despite their warnings they still arrested 37 drunk drivers and 13 others for various driving related offences. They also detected more than 400 speeding offences and issued 333 other traffic tickets. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

Aside form the persistent drunk driving the number of road collisions and smashes in the time period has raised serious concerns.

“The number of road collisions during the period is a great concern,” said chief inspector Angelique Howard. “For a country the size of the Cayman Islands 298 collisions in six weeks is a terrible figure and clearly demonstrates the lack of care and attention paid by many people on our roads. The RCIPS intends to work closely with our partner agencies to develop a national road safety strategy – as it’s clear that much more needs to be done by all agencies involved in road safety to address this issue.”

She said overall Operation Rotate was a success especially as 37 drivers who ignored the police warnings have been taken off the roads and will now face court.

“Our high visibility approach worked and seven more drink drivers were taken off the street this year than during last year’s campaign (30 in 2009/2010),” Howard added. “Over 80 more roadblocks were conducted and many more offences were uncovered this year than last.”

Figures reveal that during this year’s campaign the police discovered 102 offences compared to just 34in the previous years campaign.

“I think it’s clear that as a police service we were determined to make this operation a success and ultimately make the roads of the Cayman Islands safer for the majority of our road users,” the chief inspector said. “Unfortunately, we had one fatality on our roads during the campaign when Michael Edgington was knocked down on West Bay Road in December. Our condolences are with his family and friends. Mr Edgington’s death should have served as a warning to others about the dangers on our roads – however it does not appear that people took heed of those warnings.”

The Festive road safety campaign began on 22 November 2010 and concluded yesterday, Monday 3 January 2011.During the campaign there were:
51 arrests, of these, 37 arrests for DUI
403 speeding offences detected
333 traffic tickets issued for various offences
215 traffic offences reported
24 people found not to be wearing seatbelts
54 production slips issued
286 breath tests conducted
128 road blocks
63 stop and search operations undertaken
298 (two hundred and ninety-eight) road collisions

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

Comments (19)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. a nah no mouse says:

    How many Govt officials and how many years does it take to change/update or create new laws/provisions for say lowering Seven Mile Beach road speed limit, create crossings (like at Immigration/Govt. House)?

    Why is the speed limit on SMB road, with it’s many pedestrians/tourists and entry’s/exits the same as the By-Pass roads where there are no or very few entry’s/exits or pedestrians?

    Gov, Dep Gov, Premier, Dep Premier, Commissioner, Two Dep Commissioners, Director or Dep Director of NRA……anyone?…..

    What is it going to take for some of these highly paid "Public Servants" to provide some better service to/for the public?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The problem here seems to me to be (other than rampant use of alcohol and cellphones during driving) is the mixture of American and British driving.  One two lane carriageways we have the Americans driving on the right and the English driving on the left and only using the right-hand lane to overtake.  Of course, as the British model is used here in Cayman, you shouldn’t be using the right-hand lane unless you are overtaking.  I believe similar confusion leads to the appalling roundabout driving I observe on a daily basis here.  In fact, I am surprised there aren’t more accidents.  Finally, would somebody teach people (other than the English who already know and observe this) that if you see someone waiting to use a pedestrian crossing, BY LAW you must stop and let them cross.  They’re not supposed to be waiting for all the car drivers to pass before being able to cross the road – otherwise what would be the point of having the crossing?  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve almost been run over using the pedestrian crossing opposite the courthouse.

    Personally, I think that unless you originate from a country that also drives on the left in the British style, you should be legally obliged to take a driving test again before being provided with a Cayman Licence, and the test should particularly concentrate on road signs and the basic principles I have stated above.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I’d be curious to know how many of these accidents happen at roundabouts. Many drivers here wouldn’t last a minute on European roads. They’d either have an accident or be arrested.

  4. Paper Caymanian says:

    I was "caught" for speeding on South Sound Road by Cayman Crossing going 42mph in a 30mph zone. However, what really rattled my cage was that there were 3 police officers hiding in the trees with radar guns. Does it really need 3 valuable resources to catch us serious criminals when crime goes unabaited in Cayman.


    Yes – I am guilty of speeding and will be paying the CI$100 fine. However, in my defense I would argue that road should have a 40mph speed limit anyway and it’s very difficult to travel at 30mph on that particular road.

    Furthermore, I am glad to see that the police "let off" the tourists that were pulled in at the same time as me and did not issue them a ticket. If this is not another revenue generation scam – the government gets the cash not the police – then someone please tell me how does the seemingly over-resourced activity benefit the public in any way.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would like to see the day that this country legislate that owners of bars must have buses/shuttles available at all times for their client. 

    When customer arrives, he surrenders his keys and deposits bus fare to his destination before the first drink is purchased

    Once customer is over the limit, bus fare goes to the driver to take him home and car keys can be collected the next day or given to bus driver.

    To operate a bar it should be legislated that a breathlayser(excuse spelling) should be installed in each bar so that before the customer leaves,he must do the test and if unfit he can’t be the driver. 

    All the above should be the criteria before a license is granted.

  6. expat weirdo says:

    I might not be the brightest dude but why are the road signs only in Miles per Hour when half the Cars are in KPH?

    Right now the road signs are meaningless to half the drivers out there as the cars don’t even have the right speedometers. This is especially true of all rental cars.

    If you don’t want people to speed the least you can do is update the signs to have both KPH and MPH.

    Seriously, it’s common sense something this government seems to be lacking.



  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree that cell phone usage, particularly texting, is very possibly a contributor to the increased accident rate. I’ve been appalled driving alongside casr on our dual carriageways and observing drivers texting while driving along at 40mph. Stupid!!

    • Subway Cookie says:

      Last week my car was very nearly rear ended by a police officer.  He was in one of the jeeps they drive and was bbm’ing (from what I could tell), he had mounted his phone on the steering wheel and was attempting to drive and text at the same time.  He didnt notice me break until he nearly slammed into me, I watched the whole thing happen in my rear view mirror but couldnt really do much to avoid it without myself causing an accident.


    • Bobthebook. says:

      We are part-time Brackers from the UK. It has been illegal to drive while using a mobile phone over here for a number of years now. The mistake the government made over here was not making it illegal right from the start. Now they keep increasing the fines, putting points on drivers licences and yet you can go on any road and see drivers completely ignoring this law. There have been numerous accidents where people have been killed by drivers using their phones and not looking ahead. In Cayman it amazes me that at least you still have not made it illegal!!!!. Over here whenever there is an accident where the suspicion is a driver may have been using a phone the Police can retrieve the phone records and check to see if that was the case. Come on Cayman, catch up before it’s too late.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The lack of police presence on the roads is obvious, if you drive up WBR there will be some idiot overtaking at speed down the middle almost every time, no indicators regularly, a bus stopped in the middle of the lane, no need for these people to worry the police are catching the money raising speeders along South Sound.

    Why bother with the road blocks on Xmas and NY when all they do is check that the car is licensed?  Stick your head in the window and sniff and speak and then maybe 13% will increase and raise much more money and get the drinkers off the road


    • Anonymous says:

      And when there is police presence they also don’t use their indicators, talk on their cell phones while driving and using the wrong lanes on the roundabouts… Why should I use my indicators if the police haven’t even learnt how to use theirs??

      • Anonymous says:

        You forgot to mention and not wear their seatbelts. I bet no police officer was ticketed for not wearing a seat belt during this campaign.

      • Anonymous says:

         You must be an idiot if you asking this question

    • Anonymous says:


      Driving WB Road is becoming a nightmare. Regularly, and I mean every time I drive this road, some idiot is using middle lane as a passing lane. They can’t wait even a second if the car in front of them stopped and must drive around it using the middle lane. Bus and taxi drivers are among the worst offenders. What makes them idiots is the fact that they get into middle lane, full speed, in the most dangerous places- near Strand, Aqua beach, Governor’s square, where other cars legitimately make turns or pedestrians feeling “safe” as they try to cross WBR.

      The latest fatal incident on this road was partially caused by the same habit-passing stopped vehicle. The young man was hit by a car that was going around another car that stopped.

      Why do we have manually operated cross walk on Elgin Ave, where amount of pedestrians is minimum and NONE on WBR?

  9. 2011 says:

    When will the RCIP learn that you cant leave this responsibility in the hands of bar patrons? Laws have to change, establishments have to set limits on tabs or put safety measures in place.




  10. Anonymous says:

    When are they going to start testing for driving under the influence of drugs and not just alcohol? I suspect that the Police will have even more to be concerned about, or is this why it is not done?

    Again I ask when they will start including stats for accidents caused by people talking or texting while driving. It has been proven conclusively that those habits are equivalent to DUI. 

  11. george tustin says:

    How  I wish that you, Cay27 and other news media would stop referring to "drunk" drivers being arrested. DUI  is drving when "over the legal limit" .Many who are "over the legal limit" are not "drunk" but, even though they might deny it, their ability to drive is impaired. These people need to be encouraged not to drive and I feel sure that reporting that drivers "over the limit" were arrested would help to stamp out this irresponsible, dangerous and antisocial activity.

  12. Anonymous says:

    That is a concern, but I also find that 37 people out of 286, 13% are driving over the limit is a very serious problem. How does that compare to other countries, seems like a lot to me. I would also suggest the RCIP focus on basic traffic rules, if I had a dollar for everytime someone does not use an indicator on this island I woud be a very rich person….

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess is that the majority of collisions are caused by drivers using cell phones. Last year, between George Town and Savannah, over a period of about a year, something like eight walls were smashed through by cars. I constantly see drivers weaving, crossing the center line and driving off the edge of the road, and then all of a sudden  they’ll drive normally again, a behavior that is  not alcohol  induced. I like to be able to use the phone in the car, but when abused, it’s far more dangerous than low levels of alcohol, in my opinion.