Parents complain to police about Brac drivers

| 08/10/2008

(CNS): Motorists on Cayman Brac are being warned by the police to stop putting children at risk by failing to stop for school buses during the busy pick-up and drop-off times.  “We have received complaints from residents about motorists overtaking school buses while children are getting on and off,” said Area Commander, Acting Chief Inspector Adrian Barnett of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said. “This is extremely dangerous.”

He added that motorists should remember it is an offence under the traffic law to pass school buses when their lights are flashing and they have slowed down or stopped to allow children to get on or off. This applies to vehicles approaching school buses from the front (i.e. oncoming traffic) as well as those approaching from the rear.

In addition, drivers are asked to pay attention to the 15 mph speed limits which have been set in dedicated school zones to ensure the safety of youngsters. Warning lights flash within school zones to indicate the need for drivers to reduce speeds to 15 mph or less, for short stretches of road ranging from 200 feet to 700 feet outside schools. Lights have been programmed to flash between 7:30 and 8:45 in the morning and 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:
     

    I wholeheartedly support a plea for caution and concern for the safety of our children and I encourage all motorists to obey the relevant laws and remain diligent around school buses. It is only a matter of time until a serious injury or a tragic death will occur unless things change. However, in my opinion there is an equally serious need to review the issue of how bussing school children is dealt with here on Cayman Brac.  I think changes could be made to benefit safety, the children, and the community. 

    As it is now, the bus leaves the High School and it is not even 500 feet before it slows and comes to a stop to drop off the first student. Another two hundred feet or so it slows and comes to stop again to drop off the next batch. And so it goes, with the bus stopping innumerable times in its run, dropping off some students virtually at their doorsteps!  I have seen the bus stop and drop off one single student then progress another 200 feet or so and drop off another single student. The bus frequently does not have time to accelerate to a fraction of the speed limit before it stops again. By the time the bus has lumbered along a couple of miles from the school (and made far too many stops) it has created a long string of vehicles behind it, most of them visibly jockeying for an opportunity to overtake the bus. I can imagine many of those vehicles have a very frustrated driver at the wheel. While I do not condone dangerous overtaking, I can understand and have experienced the frustration of being caught behind the school bus. I can also see a recipe for disaster here as the number of vehicles on Cayman Brac increases with each weekly ship calling.The current situation is intolerable and is becoming more and more dangerous. It must be changed.

    When I was going to schoolin Texas, as I recall, the bus would not carry students living less than two miles from the school. I lived less than 200 feet short of that limit and so I walked and eventually biked to school. It did not kill me and I have great memories of wonderful conversation and fellowship with my fellow walkers. Virtually all U.S. and Canadian school districts have similar rules. Presently, if you live within two miles of a school in Pearland, Texas you may use the school bus, but there is a $45.00 monthly fee.The school district where I lived also had designated bus collection and drop off spots. And I can assure you they were not spaced 200 feet apart! 

    I think a similar scheme on Cayman Brac would have many benefits. Those children living close to the school would benefit from what may well be the only physical challenge they receive that day. They will be better off for the exercise.  I would propose the installation of proper designated bus stops with high visibility and protection from rain. The stops should be placed at reasonable intervals to curtail the too-frequent and seemingly random stopping the bus does now. I would also propose a system of proper sidewalks be built. This would not only offer even more safety for the students walking to school but would benefit all pedestrians, to the benefit of road safety and the community at large.

    Under this scheme road safety would be enhanced as would student safety because drivers would not become as frustrated and would not be as inclined to practise reckless overtaking. Once drivers become accustomed to the bus stops they will anticipate the stop and learn to be more vigilant near the stops. An additional benefit would be a considerable savings in precious fuel and less wear and tear on the buses since stop-and-go driving as practised now surely makes for very poor fuel economy and more engine wear.

    I trust this idea will get some support before something tragic occurs.

  2. Anonymous says:

     

    I agree that this is a problem.  There is also a problem with children riding in vehicles without being in an approved child safety seat.  If these vehicles ever came to a sudden stop the child would be seriously injured if not killed.  This needs to be enforced by the police before it is too late

  3. Anonymous says:

     i see the same problem in cayman some times i do not belive its purposley done ?there is one very smart school bus driver in cayman i see him pull the bus across the street so no one can pass then he lets the children out. i see some american school buses in cayman that have only one extended arm marked STOP on the left side as they drive on the right in the USA . all school buse in the cayman islands should have these STOP arms on both sides and flashing lights in front and in the rear.