3 killed during cop campaign

| 09/01/2012

IMG-20111130-00037.jpg(CNS): Three out of the nine people killed on Cayman’s roads last year were killed during the police seasonal safety campaign and speed or alcohol is believed to have been a factor in all three fatal crashes. Revealing the results of Operation Christmas Cracker, a six week campaign focusing on community safety, the police said Monday that many drivers in Cayman do not deserve to hold a driving licence. Between 28 November and 4 January 62 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI and 140 drivers were ticketed for speeding, according to figures released on 9 January.  In addition to the three collisions which claimed the three victims' lives, another 146 crashes were also dealt with by police during the safety campaign.

While the RCIPS said the number of reported smashes was less than last year, Chief Inspector Angelique Howell said it was far too many.

“We commonly hear the term road accidents used (but) a road crash is not an accident. Crashes are caused by driver error, speed, driving under the influence or driving dangerously or carelessly,” CI Howell said. “Crashes can be avoided — all it takes is for drivers to be aware of their surroundings and be responsible. But unfortunately, once again, our latest safety drive has proved that many of Cayman’s drivers are far from that.

'It’s clear that we still have a long way to go to make our roads as safe as they should be. Three people lost their lives in six weeks, three families lost loved ones over the festive season – all because people were not responsible,” she added.

Although Operation Christmas Cracker has finished, CI Howell stressed that the end of the campaign does not mean the end of road traffic enforcement, as a further six drink-drivers found out to their cost this weekend.

“Driving under the influence is not acceptable; it destroys lives. Our priority is to make Cayman’s roads as safe as they can be and our New Year’s pledge is to continue to target those who drink and drive, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Six more people who ignored our warnings were arrested this weekend for DUI. They will now join the 62 locked up during Operation Christmas Cracker in court,” CI Howell said

Early indications are that in each the latest three fatal road smashes someone was either speeding or was driving under the influence of alcohol. On 30 November 52-year-old Richard Martin was killed near Lakeside Villas on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. Patrick Raymond Brooks-Dixon, who was arrested at the scene for suspicion of DUI, was charged in December with causing death by dangerous driving.

Richard Alutaya River, who was 39, was killed on Shamrock Road on 23 December in a single vehicle smash in which he was believed to have been speeding, and 26-year-old Dwayne Cayasso died from his injuries on 29 December the day after the car he was driving left the Linford Pierson Highway and collided with a tree.

During 2011 Cayman’s roads also claimed six other lives. 72-year-old Graham Rivers was killed in North Side when he was struck by a car as he rode his bicycle on Hutland Road.

In May  25-year-old Elmo Powell was killed on Cayman Brac when the vehicle he was driving crashed into the Cayman Brac Power and Light building in the early hours of the morning. Later that month Janice Holland (64), a visitor to the island from the United States, was killed when her husband, who was driving the couple’s rental car, drove mistakenly on the wrong side of the road on Jubilee Lane in West Bay. 

In June two teenagers were killed in separate incidents. Jamie Evans, who was only 19, was killed on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway on 1 June, then 18-year-old Brandon Powery lost his life on a motor cycle at the junction of Boltins Avenue and Town Hall Road in West Bay on 26 June. Karen Edwards, who was 25 and expecting a baby, was killed on Sea View Road, in East End on 14 August after the car she was travelling in with three other women crashed into a tree.

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Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I dont know, during this period I hardly saw any police cars on the road. In comparison to prior times. I thought the initiative meant its time for the pow pow to go sleep. They were really scarce around that time

  2. Anonymous says:

    The cell phone ban in my oppinion is fine. but what about the police? they are the biggest offenders. I hardly cross a police car that the officer driving isnt on the phn and ive also almost hit a few because they pulled out in front of me because they arent watching where they are goig because they are too busy on the phone>

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the RCIPS will one day get serious about policing and put criminals at fear.  Coming up with silly names (operation Christmas Cracker) for what they are supposed to do every day would be a start.  It goes to show that the RCIPS do not take this seriously.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Imagine how many they could catch if they kept this up for the rest of the year.  Note to Police. There are crazy, idiotic, drunk drivers on our roads most of hte time.  Get out there on a regular basis and you will catch plenty.   Also, try abiding by the traffic laws yourselves.  I have been overtaken by a Police car who then pulled right in front of me.  I had to break to avoid running into the back of the police car.  Use your indicators and do not overtake when there is traffic coming in the opposition direction.   The laws apply to you too.  You should set an example – a good one not a bad one – for the rest of us to follow.  It really makes you wonder what the Police are doing all day.  Driiving to work in the mjorning is like a game of Russian Roulette.  

  5. Truth Hurts says:

    Banning under 30's driving Honda Civics between dusk and dawn would be the single most effective measure of them all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorant comment. It's not the type of car that causes issues. It's the individual behind the wheel. I can kill myself, drive drunk, or speed in a Ferarri the same way I can in a 1996 Sunny.

      • Sheerluck Holmes says:

        Not so.  It is a very valid analysis in terms of behavioural economics and sociology.  The evidence of the fatal crashes show that an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of these crashes involved a) men under 30, b) were at night and c) involved older Japanese cars, especially Honda Civics.  Restricting these factors would reduce these crashes.  There is nothing wrong with Honda Civics.  But they are cheap and driven predominantly from members of the socio-economic group most likely to include "boy racers".  So sorry to say, your "gut" reaction is the ignorant comment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    When people are charged with other crimes their names are reported in the press. But never DUIs. Why not?  It's public information. It may increase the deterrent factor if the names were publicised

    • Anonymous says:

      Very good question

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it is a traffic offense, not a criminal offense in the Cayman Islands.  Not saying that's right, that's just the way it is.

      • Anonymous says:

        Youre wrong, it's still public information. You can go online and see the court list any day of the week, including the traffic court, the news outlets never report them though

  7. Anonymous says:

    Easy fix. Put governors on all cars to make it physically impossible to speed.


    The islands are small. Driving at 40 miles per hour will get you anywhere on the island within a reasonable amount of time.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many politicians would it take to make me drive that slow?

    • Anonymous says:


      What speed do you put on the limiter.


      Obviously at least the maximum speed that it is legal to drive on Cayman. Do you want to drop that to 40. Frank Sound Road?. What about overtaking. If someone is travelling at 35 miles per hour and you restrict 'max speed' to 40 you have just made overtaking ythat vehicle incredibly dangerous. If not 40  (or 50) then what. 60 is perfectly fast enough to cause some of these horrendous accidents but unless you are going to cut max speeeds across the island then no limiter can be safely set below that. Countries that do put speed limiters on their vehicles have them at much higher speeds than the road legal limit.

    • Alan Nivia says:

      If I have to have a Governor installed in my car, can I have Stuart Jack please?  He was quite small and will take up less room than the other ones.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or we could breath analysers in the cars, that upon detecting alcohol immobilise the ignition system.  Lets just see how silly we can get this this!

  8. anonymous says:

    In making a comment here, I do not pretend to be a perfect driver, however I feel that I do not put other road users lives at risk. In the short time that I have lived here, I feel that the standard of driving here is unbelievably bad. The following are some of the issues that need to be addressed: drivers who do not use the indicator switch;, drivers at night who drive with the full beam headlight on thus dazzling other drivers; treating the West Bay Road / SMB like the cartoon 'Wacky Races'; no clue how to use a roundabout; tailgating the car in front forcing them to make mistakes; on the bypass driving below the speed limit in the wrong lane (inside lane and overtaking lane): the private bus companies need to have speed limiters on all vehicles that carry tourists and fare paying members of the public (35 mph).

    The above is just for a start.

    • Common Sense says:

      I think it is too easy to get a driver's license here and the training should be manditory.  Classes need to start for teenagers instead of paying an expert to just give them a test and pass.  This needs to be a summer education program with quarterly trsting before handing out this license to kill.

      Mo guns here, but the road deaths are astonishing per capita!

      As with most things in Cayman, what is lacking is education and enforcement.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Based upon the numbers of DUI & speeding tickets issued it would be interesting to have the RCIP offer up an honest extrapolated figure for speeders and drunk drivers on the island at any given time.

    • What??????????? says:


      Anon15:43. ?????????????????????????

    • Anonymous says:

      I guarantee that the police would find these numbers ALL YEAR ROUND.

      Ihave said it before that merely bringing out these operations during Christmas time baffles me as much as they seem to be baffled by the numbrs they get.

      All they need to do is have a road block every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night, Sunday afternoons and evenings and they would get the same if not more.

      Drink driving occurs around here for a number of reasons;

      1) Police presence is non-existent on the roads barring the Christmas and New Years season.

      2) Taxis charge extortionate fares at night

      3) Its not safe to walk home anymore on this island

      To combat these reasons;

      1) Police presence and road blocks YEAR ROUND on the busiest nights / days for drinking (see above).  I dont understand what it is these police officers do for the rest of the year. It actually seems like this is the only thiong they are good at prosecuting people with, so why not do it all year  round. God know they are given the resources to do it.

      2) Put meters in taxis or get a late night bus service (I dont know why the bus drivers just seem to pack up shop by 8pm every night)

      3) Police presence might give security to those who can walk home and it would also deter (somewhat) the criminals from trying to rob peple. Or they get a cab / bus cause you can actually afford to at the end of the night.


      If these were implemented, I guarantee that the DUI's and road deaths would plummet within a year of implementation.

  10. Anonymous says:

    And when are the RCIPS going to do their bit and ensure that all vehicles on the roads here are in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Cayman Islands? Get rid of those tinted licence plate covers so you can idetify vehicles if necessary, ensure that front licence plates are fitted correctly so you can identify vehicles if necessary, get rid of illegally tinted windows so you can identify a driver if necessary. The RCIPS want people to obey the law in all its respects, but they continually ignore all of the above. What message does this send out? Double standards, i.e. business as usual.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So over 42 days in full "crackdown" tactical mode, the police's best effort is only 140 speeding tickets (avg 3.3 per day) and only 62 DUIs (just over 1 per day).  Once again RCIPs patt themselves on the back, shake their collective finger at the public, and take the rest of the year off until their "blitz" next November.  And we wonder why the public has so little respect for traffic laws and the police in general.  If there was a serious Will to catch and deter bad practices, there would be a couple ticket books filled every hour.  Why can't we get serious all year round, ie. have an effective traffic department?  Surely traffic law is the easiest of all the oversight responsibilities entrusted to the force?  If you can't do that, what CAN you do?


    • Anonymous says:

      I think it might have something to do with the reports they would need to generate for every ticket, DUI, and criminal charge. It would take them throught to the next millenium to bring these before the court if these sortsd of numbers occurred year round.

      If you have ever been inetrviewed by a police officer down here you will know that they are ridiculously slow….or perhaps lazy? I once made a statement to them and it took 3+hrs for them to write / type it up. I even offereed to do it myself so I could leave bu to no avail.

  12. Anonymous says:

    One of the reasons for the rampant disrespect of traffic laws is the current state of non-enforcement on a day to day basis. In the old days, if you sped in South Sound, you could expect a ticket. Now, on a typical morning commute to work, take a look at the Red Bay school zone. There is a steady stream of extremely rude drivers crossing double yellow lines at high speed, into oncoming school zone traffic, just to get ahead of a few cars backed up from the round-a-bout junction. School zones should be sacred, the Red Bay zone is out of control. Perhaps if the Police deployed their officers during the high risk/high violation times of the day, every day, we would see more disciplined driving.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Apparently there's a bunch of people who have gone crazy on Cayman.