Cops start cell phone campaign

| 12/09/2012

Leafleting motorists Weds 12 sept (254x300).jpgCNS): The local police were out and about on Wednesday morning issuing mock traffic tickets similar to the ones officers will be issuing once the ban on using a mobile phone while driving without a hands-free device comes into effect next week. From Friday 21 September the partial cell phone ban will see offenders fined $150 for a breach of the law. In order to prepare drivers the RCIPS started handing out leaflets which look like the tickets they will be handing out once the law comes into effect. Aiming to educate drivers about the new law the police said however that people should be well aware the phone ban was coming given the wide coverage it has had in the media.

“The fact that the partial cell-phone ban is part of the new Traffic Law should not come as a surprise to anyone,” said Acting Superintendent Angelique Howell. “After all, it has achieved substantial media coverage over recent months and has been a hot topic of conversation throughout Cayman, where cell-phone use and texting is a huge part of everyday life for most people. We welcome the new legislation and we are sure that it will have a huge impact in helping to reduce the deaths and injuries on our roads – after all people who text and talk on the phone are clearly not concentrating on their driving.”

Howell explained that the leaflets were to remind motorists that the new law is about to come into force and how much they will be out of pocket if they chose to ignore it.

“To help people get ready for the new law Digicel and LIME are partnering with the RCIPS to offer a 25% discount on all hands-free devices. This discount will take effect immediately. We hope that this substantial discount will encourage people to get their hands-free kits before the ban comes into effect. The cost of a device is much less than the cost of a $150 fine.”

The Traffic Law 2011 does have some exceptions to the cell phone driving ban. People can still use a cell phone if they have a hands-free device. They can also use their phones to call 9-1-1 in an emergency when it is unsafe or impracticable to stop and park. The law also provides an exemption for police officers using cell phones whilst driving. But the RCIPS has issued a clear instruction to officers not to use cell phones whilst driving police vehicles unless they are stopped in a safe location. Officers who do not follow this instruction will face disciplinary action.

In all other cases if people have to make or answer a call they should pull over to the side of the road and come to a complete stop – but only if safe to do so. However, stopping at a traffic light or a stop sign does not count as being stopped for the purposes of making a call!

See the leaflet below

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Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Driving and talking/texting is dangerous. People have convinced themselves that they are experts at multi-tasking but it does affect your response time, it affects your judgement and this is proven by most of the people talking and driving because they are driving unusually slow and careful and don't even realise it or they think they are in control but they are actually drifting toward the bush ot he center line.

     

    Some think it is okay because they say it is no different than having another person in the car and talking or listening to the radio but two distinct differences are the other person in the car is usually another set of eyes for you and you are not interacting with the radio. 

    To be safe simply don't text and drive, don't talk and drive. Years ago, you called my house or my work phone. You couldn't get me in between because I was commuting.

    If you absolutely have to use the phone, pull over and use it safely. There is no phone call / text that is worth taking and potentially taking a life. 

    The problem I find here is we are always reactive and not proactive. We wait until something horrific happens before we decide to do something about it. Are we going to wait until someone dies caused by either themselves or another driver talking/texting while driving before we believe that it is dangerous?

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't think the holding a phone is anymore dangerous than driving and talking.  Its not the hand that is dangerous, but the mind.  The mind controls the hands.  Some people cannot coordinate the two.

    • Anonymous says:

      Common sense should tell you otherwise. Can you negotiate turns and roundabouts as well with one hand as you can with two?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any law on the books to enforce people on their phones walking or riding on the roads and in the path of the driving public? I find that these are more dangerous than the drivers.  enforce this too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    what about hand held radio ?

  5. Anonymous says:

    And the REAL criminals go free, since the police doesn't have the time . . . . .

  6. Anonymous says:

    So a member of the public decided to walk around and check vehicle licsence dates to see if they were current. He finds there were a large amount out of date and now someone is telling him to submit other peoples licsence plate #s to the cops. We have cameras all over the island. Road blocks all over the place. what a crappy way of life we have been reverted to. It sucks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It struck me today that as so many cars have dark tint, there is no way you can see if they're using their phone. Today I was followed by an SUV on the Linford Pearson bypass, that weaved from side to side in a  repetitive, rhythmical sort of way. Later, I had an opportunity to see that the lunatic driver had his phone jammed to his ear while his  wrist did the steering. The tint was so dark, that all I could see was his silhouette. My point is simple, that unless tint is agressively dealt with by the police, those behind it will be able to milk a goat,  compose a text or steer with their elbows, and they'll be quite invisible while they do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The fact is, even the legal limit of 35% is relatively dark, so not too sure how they are really going to enforce.

      • Anonymous says:

        There's actually a roadside tester available, they use them all the time in the UK. It costs about $150 in the USA or about 1% of the bill RCIPS get for crashing a Dodge Charger.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Agree with the post at 13.30 on 12/9/12 – what a waste of time and resources "Mock Tickets"!!  If they didn't do it and gave less warning to the public, they'd recover more revenue in fines when the law comes in next week.

    Re the outstanding road license fees, last time I walked pass the RCIPS building in GT I had to laught when I saw one of the police cars' licenses' had expired!!

    I think we need to look at the actual "Roadworthiness" of some of the vehicles as well, how they've have a valid inspection is absolutely shocking (cash in hand to somebody I suspect), vehicles without lights, indicators, brake lights, buckled wheels, cracked windshields get all this junk off the road.  I read in the New Resident that people in Cayman take pride in their vehicles – one of the most comical things I've read recently!!

  9. Prawn Tempura says:

    Anyone caught on a cell phone should have their car impounded for a week, doubling each time they are caught.  And make them pay impound fees.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just because your using a hands-free device does not mean that you are thinking of driving……NO CELLS:::::Your mind should be on Driving period !! Just pull over Safely, check call & respond..

  11. Anonymous says:

    So….can we now issue real tickets to the RCIPS officers who are constantly on the phone while driving?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank God !  I can still apply my make up while driving to work ! With my kid hanging out the window.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is it correct that the definition of "hands free" is a device that allows a call to be automatically answered and a conversation to take place without any use of a drivers hands?

    I presume that this includes the use of the 'older' wired earpiece & microphone. Not just a wireless device.

  14. Anonymous says:

    One of your commenters recently  mentioned that when he goes into any parking lot and checks the vehicle licence stickers, a large proportion are out of date or missing. Over the past three days, I thought I'd put his assertion to the test, as I didn't really believe it.

     

    I reckon that one in 10 licences in Cayman is out of date, many from  2011. One car had such dark tint on the windscreen  that the white sticker was almost invisible. It's as if the perpetrators know perfectly well the police arn't bothered about it, but if they don't have a current licence, then they probably don't have insurance.

     

    If I were I authorized to work on this for one full day, I guarantee I'd raise $20,000 in fees. What on earth are the police thinking of?  I support them 100%, but it's beyond me to understand this in-your-face laxity. How do they propose to prosecute phone users when hundreds of  cars with out-of-date licences are parked right in front of their noses? It's a joke, until you have an accident with an unisured driver, and then it's a tragedy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dark Tint is illegal, loud playing music from vehicles is illegal, the police turn a blind eye and DO NOTHING ABOUT IT!!! Just another law passed that will not be enforced….we have quite a few of them now!

      • Anonymous says:

        We could do with more loud playing music from vehicles and anywhere else to block out all the moaning, groaning and complaining!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good work.

      Why don't you submit the license plate numbers to the police.

      They will be able to track the owners down and apply the law. I'm sure they will appreciate the support.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where exactly did you carry out your little experiment? My coupon's been up since Monday.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good idea I think, just hope the follow up is as good.

     

    Given that the "tinted windscreens" that the last blitz was supposed to stop are still driving around, and obviously defective other vehicles, one has to wonder if this will work.

     

    I really hope so.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The fine should double if you are in a roundabout. And ten times if you are involved in an accident.

  17. Environ-mentallist says:

    Mock tickets!?! Do the police really have nothing better to do!? Great use of their resources and our $!

    • Rorschach says:

      "Do the police really have nothing better to do!?"

       

        BWAHAHAAAAA….is that a rhetorical question???  

    • Anonymous says:

      When the general public drives and behaves like 5th graders they need to be treated as such.  Little steps are best.