Senior cop disappointed with local drivers

| 20/12/2010

(CNS): In the wake of another death on Cayman’s roads a senior police officer has said it is unbelievable how many people are driving under the influence and committing other traffic offences despite the continued warnings from police. Twenty-three people have been arrested on suspicion of DUI (driving under the influence) during the first four weeks of the RCIPS seasonal road safety campaign. Releasing the figures on Monday Chief Inspector Angelique Howell expressed her disappointment at the number of offences detected since the launch of the initiative on 22 November. Police revealed there have been almost 200 road crashes of some kind in the first four weeks. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

“We were all saddened to hear of the tragic loss of another life on the roads of the Cayman Islands this weekend. Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Edgington at this difficult time,” said Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. “The statistics we have released this morning are concerning. It is beyond belief that so many people have chosen to ignore the warnings about the dangers of driving at speed, without seat belts and while under the influence. We said at the start of this campaign that we would be redoubling our efforts and that we would be coming after those who not only flout the law but put themselves and other road users at risk by their irresponsible actions.”

Drivers who get behind the wheel of a car after they’ve been drinking are putting their own lives at risk
as well as the lives of innocent road users and pedestrians, the senior officer stated.

“We will continue to be out in force throughout the festive season carrying out stop checks on vehicles, setting up road blocks and actively gathering intelligence about people who are drinking and then driving.

She also reminded drivers that alcohol stays in the system for some considerable time – and it’s possible
drivers may still be over the limit the next day. “That’s why we will also be targeting early morning drivers who might still be over the limit,” Howell added.

Reminding everyone about their responsibilities on the road she told cyclists and pedestrians to take extra care.

“As we fast approach the Christmas and the New Year period I would also like to remind pedestrians and cyclists that they too have a responsibility for road safety, they must be aware of, and pay attention to other road users. Pedestrians must look both ways before crossing roads and if possible use designated crossings. In addition, cyclists must ride with the flow of traffic and not against it,” the inspector stated.

In the past week alone seven 7 people have been arrested for DUI following the 59 breath tests which have been conducted. There have been 25 road blocks and 40 traffic tickets have been issued, 5 people have been found not to be wearing seatbelts and some 55 road collisions have taken place. Police said 33 traffic offences have been reported and 61 speeding tickets were issued and 9 stop and search operations have been conducted.

Since the crack down started last month the police said that there have been

23 arrests for DUI
165 traffic offences reported
187people detected speeding
256 traffic tickets issued
21 people found not to be wearing seatbelts
36 production slips issued
183 breath tests conducted
93 roadblocks conducted.
36 stop and search operations
184 road collisions

Anyone who has information about people committing road traffic offences or drinking and driving should contact their local police station.


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  1. Pit Bull says:

    The standard of driving in Cayman is atrocious.

    1) Drink driving should equal jail.  It is taken far too lightly.

    2) Death by drunk driving should mean several years in jail.  The two years handed out to that selfish little party girl recently was a disgrace.

    3) Mobile phones – should be illegal when driving as using one makes you as dangerous a driver as someone over the speed limit.

    4) Roundabouts – indicators are there for a reason – bleedin’ well use them.

    5) Tailgaiting and overtaking.  If you are late for your job it is not an excuse to jeopardise others’ lives by speeding down from West Bay.


  2. Beer Belly says:

    Heard on the news today that CI Angelique Howell indicated the police will also be looking out for drivers who may still be intoxicated and driving the morning after having a few drinks the night before. I wonder if this will also apply to police officers who will be reporting for duty in the mornings after attending parties, clubs, bars etc. during this crack-down period?

  3. Concerned Caymanian says:

    What needs to be done is to lower the speed limit on West Bay Road to 25mph, and to add more crossing places along the route.  We now have the bypass for anyone who wants to drive 40 mph, and it isn’t surrounded by businesses with so many entrances to the main road.

  4. MySherona says:

    How about this:

    1.     Increase police presence on the roads.  Not just present but active and involved in stopping suspicious drivers (not hard to spot – like shooting fish in a barrel);
    2.     Regulate the taxis so that you don’t pay $50 to go a mile down the road. Everyone has the money to drink and is willing to pay taxi fare but if you are getting ripped off (which is the issue there) then you are going to find people getting behind the wheel.  I don’t condone it, I’m simply pointing out the obvious;
    3.     Pedestrianise the most popular section of West Bay Road on Seven Mile Beach from Fidels to the intersection at Triple Crown on Friday night from 7pm – 3 am and Saturday from 3pm to 3 am. This will do two things:
    a.     Force drivers (especially drunk and drug carrying ones) to use the bypass which will be the only route to get between GT and WB and the police can patrol at either end. I will not complain about a roadblock if it means you are going to keep criminals (which the police seem quite lame about catching) and drunk drivers off the road. 
    b.    It will also keep pedestrians on West Bay Road on SMB safe. There are a lot of tourists who don’t know how badly the people on this island drive (like lunatics) and are endangered when crossing the road and also those frequenting the social hotspots on SMB who may be under the influence crossing the road and who might not be able to judge how fast a car is coming and risk getting hit (or run over). 
    This seems at least like a practical solution that would easily provide the police with a lot more control and a lot less excuses for their poor control and reaction to crime and drunken driving in Cayman. 
    The rest is up to the individual who decides to get behind the wheel. 
  5. Marek says:

    According to RCIPS there were 1,700 accidents last year. From minor fender benders to full on total wrecks.

    A little math here… assuming the average accident is $2,000.

    Five per day, one hundred and fifty per month.

    I don’t see that many auto repair places but $300,000 a month is a pretty attractive incentive to look at a business.

    Just saying…

    As to taxi prices… I recently heard from a couple that they were charged $60 CI to go from SMB to Pappagallo… that’s not a shame… that’s a crime!!!

    For DUI, some states automatically impound the car for 180 days. You can get around this impound lock down by paying a $3,000 fine for the car.

    Hrm… there is an incentive to set up roadblocks and catch people.

    It’s just math…

  6. Frank says:

    Reduce and regulate cab fares or have a 24 hr bus service like the rest of the world. It isnt really an excuse but its the simple truth that people refuse to be ripped off for cab fares. Oh and sorry we disappointed you in the month of December RCIP’ usually disappoint us all year round so no hard feelings!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The facts here are simple and indisputable. Cayman has a culture of drink driving. The real question is why? To answer this one must look to the taxi drivers on this island that constantly rip people off. The fares are some of the most expensive in the world. That is indisputable. The time has come to introduce meters and reasonable fares. Let’s see some balls on one of the politicians and bring this motion before the LA.

  8. Anonymous says:

    To solve this problem in the long term, we  need a more demanding driving test, one that covers night driving and car control.

    And we need police officers who will set an example by using their indicators once in a while, who  jump on drivers who still believe they are right to charge around the outside lane of a roundabout without indicators, chopping off cars correctly exiting from the middle lane, like mad kamikaze kooks, or those drivers who overtake in the turn lane on the W.B.road, putting lives at risk.

    And yes, when you call the police station, you will likely be left feeling that you have wasted your time. I once reported a commercial truck dumping  garbage in Patrick’s Island, and I was made to feel as if I was the criminal. They ask for help, but you get no positive feedback.

    In spite of this, I am 100% in support of the Police, even though they do need to raise the pride bar a bit. Many I have come into contact with on other matters are excellent, but as always, the many pay for the shortcomings of the few.



    • Anonymous says:

      I hope Commissioner Baines reads my post because he has a bigger problem than he realizes

      Here’s what I think is happening:-

      1, OBVIOUSLY the traffic courts are way too lenient and need HARSHER PENALTIES


      3. OR  do we need to RAISE  THE AGE for driving privileges TO 25?

      4. WHO ARE THESE VIOLATORS? Are they all YOUNG UDP members WHO  believe they own the country and our roads and when they go to court there is interference into the justice system and they  LET THEM GO!

      4. THERE’S CORRUPTION SOMEWHERE!. And why are these type of people still driving cars. they should be riding a donkey or a bicycle or use Public transportation. Government needs a bus service let these people use the bus they HAVE NO BUSINESS BEHIND THE WHEEL!









  9. nauticalone says:

    The Police seem to behave in a similar fashion as our esteemed Politicians…."i’m so disapointed and surprised". Of what?….i see dangerous driving everyday….and rarely see Police….unless it’s at the supermarket around lunchtime :))

    I’ve phoned Police many times to report what is clearly drunk driving….and it’s "hit or miss" as to the response i get. Some are very professional and thank me….but most are not!….and behave as if i’m bothering them!

    And don’t even mention people drivingwithout children being belted in….and while on the phone talking (and now texting too) and as for signals….it is glaringly evident that to use signals is NOT the rule….not even the Police or POO (Protocol) vehicles bother to use signals…."we nah need no stinkin signals".

    Cameras set up at each roundabout to record this law breaking (and mail out tickets) at $50 each should net a very tidy sum!….and hopefully result in improved/safer driving habits. And more traffic cops with radar and cameras strategically positioned, routinely.

    This should result in reducing the "roadblocks" needed during peak rush hour times. Resulting in so many innocent drivers sitting in gridlock traffic and wating precious time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    John Public should lay the blame at the feet of the Commissioner. He’s not doing a very good job. There are no police patrols and the ilegal drivers know this and is taken advantage.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am absolutely baffled why they don’t crack down more on people who drive busses, cabs, dump trucks, delivery vehicles etc. If those people can’t follow the laws and regulations, they should not be allowed to operate a vehicle for commercial purposes and earn a living driving around, whilst endangering everyone else on the road!

    In the 11 years I have lived here, I can count one hand the instances when I have seen the police pulling one of the above vehicles over. Why? You should be the pain in their ass on a daily basis to ensure that they follow the laws.

    Can you imagine if the same lax attitude would be applied towards pilots???

  12. My2cents says:

    Standards of driving here are utterly terrible. This report confirms what everyone knows and really is nothing new. The main question is – what is going to be done to improve standards of driving on these roads?

    • Pending says:

      The main answer: Nothing, that would involve actually doing something.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Senoir cop should have been addressing this problem a long time ago. Did he just wake, go for drive and notice.

  14. Anonymous says:

    183 breath tests and only 23 arrests. So only 12% of those suspected were actually DUI and 160 innocent people were subjected to these tests.

    • John Evans says:

      Our local figures for this month so far –

      Over 5000 drivers tested

      Just 45 positive – that’s under 1%

      No one round here is complaining because (unless the police are simply picking the wrong people) it shows the message is getting across.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I too am dissapointed in the way persons diregard the road laws. Everytime someone gets behind the wheel of a car they have the legal and moral obligation to abide by the laws set out.

    While driving along Linford Pierson Hwy this morning a Taxi mini bus overtook my car and forced an oncoming car to veer off the road. This type of driving is unacceptable by all but it is most concerning by a taxi driver who carries passengers. 

    I am getting sick & tired of people overtaking, cutting your vehicle off, not using turn signals, DUI etc. stop putting others life at risk through your stupid behavior.  We don’t need to be in such a rush, slow down and consider the laws, other drivers & pedestrians.  

  16. Anonymous says:

    And we’re dissapointed that there is still no decent alternative to drinking and driving especially over the xmas season…  Unless you have the $60 or so to pay a cab which in thecurrent economy most people don’t.  I know it isn’t an excuse and it doesn’t make it right but does it not occur to these people that if we have so many DUI’s in Cayman that maybe there must be a reason or cause for this and that maybe we should take a look into and fix the whole issue insted of just slapping people on the hand for doing it????

    • Anonymous says:

      $60? REALLY?

      Here’s the solution: if you want to have some fun, it’s easy: move closer to your watering holes, or get a designated driver or taxi.  Under no circumstances should anyone get on public roads in that state. 

      If frequent benders are interrupting your performance at home or at work, you may have a common substance dependency problem, best addressed by attending one of the many weekly public AA meetings.  Attend before you ruin your life and/or some else’s.  The deadly or disfiguring consequences are as real here as anywhere else in the world.  Be a man and get some help before you and/or your relatives and friends forever regret your not spending the $60.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Slap on the hand", mistakenly that is what many people think they will get when they wind up in Traffic Court. However, once a person appears before the magistrate for DUI this belief quickly changes. I work in the judicial system and I know what I am talking about. Let’s see a simple DUI on conviction can land you a minimum of 1 year disqualification with a several hundred dollars fine. Disqualification means that you no longer are insured, so if you stupidly decide to drive within the year and get caught you are looking at probably another years disqualification at the least, plus several hundred dollars worth of fines, and maybe even a prison sentence as well. Added to that you will also get a traffic conviction, so when you apply for a police record  the conviction will be show up on the record, and as we all know that might affect your chances of a US visa. No big deal you say, conviction is no big deal. But you are stuck with it for 10 YEARS. How about you just decide you have to drive while you are disqualified. Try it and if you get caught, I guarantee you will regret it. Taxi too expensive you say? Rather pay CI $500 dollars in fines to the court eh? $500 dollars is so much cheaper than $60 dollars. You like chances? Then go for it. But don’t complain when you kill yourself or worse yet someone else, or even worse the person lives and remains a vegetable with severe brain damage or severe facial damage or some other severe  damage  all due to your selfish  desire to save  $60  dollars.  I  hope the Police catch  you and you wind  up in front of Magistrate Ramsey and when you do I guarantee you will be singing a different tune by then. Merry Christmas.

      • Anonymous says:

        Judicial one,

        you gave the drunken drivers a piece of your courthouse mind! I like that. But Its no good these violators keep coming before the magistrate and wind up on the roads again. They must BE JAILED, their style of driving is attempted murder every time they get behind the wheel so this DUI must be taken more seriously by the courts in sentencing them automaticaly to jail for drunken driving.Keeping them out of jail DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM, but jailing them does solve the problem, because as long as they are out here they will continue to drive whether they have a license or insurance or not.

        So the police and the courts need to take a fresh look at how they are handling these violators of the traffic laws. Obviously they do not take the police nor the courts seriously.

    • Anonymous says:

      When will the time come in Cayman where people stop blaming someone or something else and take responsibility for themselves.

      Sometimes I almost think I live in the USA – not Cayman!

      Learn to car pool and appoint a designated drive. That’s how I survivedthe 80s in Europe without endangering someone else on the road.

    • Mad Mamma says:

      You need to listen to the other replies to your post, as they have some sensible suggestions.  Here’s another observation for those who complain about the cost of a taxi ride – how much did you pay for all those drinks to get smashed in the first place?  If you’re willing to waste your money on that, then you should be willing to come up with a safe method of getting yourself home.

      It is not acceptable to risk the life or wellbeing of me, my children, my husband, my loved ones, my friends, my colleague nor anyone in my community – including yourself – by driving intoxicated.  I challenge you to think differently not only about your own actions but of those around you.  Value is more than a dollar amount. 


  17. Anonymous says:

    The police are disappointed in us???

    • Anonymous says:

      interesting how the traffic report comes out just one day after another innocent person is killed by a drunk driver.  Is this to make the police feel better?  like they are doing something to prevent these tragedies?  They have no presence on the roads except for a couple of traffic stops during the holidays…lets be pro-active rather than re-active.  Rather than brag about how many tickets you’ve handed out, lets actually focus on policing the high risk areas on a regular basis!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Regulate the ridiculous taxi prices. They get away with absolute robbery!!!

    You would see an immediate dramatic decrease in impared driving.

    Everyone knows this!

    • anonymous says:

      if you can’t afford a taxi, don’t drink then you flipping idiot!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        If you can spend $100 on a bar tab you can spend the $30 on the ride home.  If you cant afford the $30 buy a case of beer for $25 and stay at home.

        • Owl says:

          People  who drink experience blackouts and memory loss.  The first thing that happens is ‘they lose focus’. a person losing focus on the road while driving a vehicle and blacking out behind the wheel has created a dangerous situation that must be avoided. Such unlawful actions  should be punishable more harshly as these people who drink and drive are an endangerment to our society.

      • Pending says:

        Re: the taxi fare –  its damn expensive and they need to address the situation with meters in every taxi – but thats not going to happen because then they wouldn’t be able to rip off tourists and locals on a daily basis.

        Have you ever been in a taxi at night? As soon as they realise you have been drinking the fare doubles. People dont like being taken advantage of / robbed. We have to work for our money to. It is even worse if there is more than 1 person in the taxi, and you all want to go to a different location, but on the same road. They then charge everyone that $60 each.

        Most people when it comes to the service industry give that service one ./ two chances to prove they are worth it / do a good job. If they fail you dont go back / use that service a gain, simple. What makes you thjink it would be a different with a taxi?

        Perhaps people who make a hundred thousand a year dont mind forking out $60 everytime they go for a drink, but to the majority thats alot.

        I also find it amazing that you never hear anything from the taxi operators on this issue or from the toruism deaprtment or anybody in some sort of authourity to address the situation, and you know why? Because its true, and they don’t care.

        • Anonymous says:

          Have you heard of a DD, if you can’t afford a taxi but can still afford the bar tab then at least rotate being DD’s (unless you are out by yourslef).  Just becuase taxi’s are a rip off (which they are) does not give anyone the right to drink and drive, you have plenty of options (taxi, DD, walk, drink at home, etc). 

      • Anonymous says:

        I personally dont believe that the offenders dont know how to drive but more that they just dont care.

        As for the lack of patrol cars. Police are too predictable they park in the same spots all the time. You will see cars flying along and as soon as they approach where the police car is they slow down.

        And policeofficers please dont mess up the flow of traffic by driving slow. If a police car is in the traffic flow everyone is driving 15-20 mph slower. Then every is late and try to make up time.