839 drivers caught on phone

| 24/07/2013

(CNS): The RCIPS has issued hundreds of tickets to drivers using their cell phones on the road since the ban came into effect at the end of September last year. According to their statistics, the police are nabbing more than four people per day talking on the phone behindthe wheel. Traffic crashes increased again in the first half of 2013 by 21% compared to last year with almost 700 smashes on Cayman’s roads in just six months, 120 more than the same period last year. Although DUI and speeding offences both fell in the first half of this year, overall traffic offences increased by 25%, with police issuing a bumper 3,001 tickets for various road infractions.

Despite the widespread campaign in September last year, when police warned drivers that they would begin a zero tolerance policy when it came to using their mobile phones behind the wheel, tickets have increased since the ban began, with 140 drivers just last month being caught.

Although drivers are allowed to use their phones with a hands-free device, talking without one or texting costs drivers $150 for every infringement, but the sanction does not seem to be working as the numbers of tickets issued is increasing. In October last year, the first full month of the ban, 50 tickets were issued, then in November 60, and in December 65. With the start of the New Year the numbers were similar for the first two months, with 52 drivers in January and 45 in the slightly shorter month of February. However, in March 145 drivers were nabbed and the numbers have continued to remain at similar levels, with 134 in April and 137 in May.

Despite the warnings from police and the obvious dangers of distracted driving, in the first six months of this year 653 tickets were issued. Government has now collected C$125,850 from delinquent drivers.

Meanwhile, general bad behaviour on the local roads continues. Although the rate fell by 27%, police arrested 81 people since the year started for drinking and driving. 330 people were fined for not wearing seatbelts, and despite a significant drop compared to last year, when nearly a thousand people were stopped for speeding, in the first part of 2013 nearly 500 people were fined for driving above the speed limit.

Despite the poor road record, however, fatal accidents did not increase, with three lives being taken on the roads in first half of 2013, the same number as those killed last year during the same period.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Crime

About the Author ()

Comments (38)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we need a Facebook page dedicated to phone bandits!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about the off duty police using the cell phones while driving?  And they are sure that because they know those currently on duty, they will not be charged. Who would catch such bad cops?

  3. Anonymous says:

    i see people on their phone every single day as if they have no respect for the law. its sickening. the fine should be 200 ci per offence. its a win win situation for the police. ching ching. i can hear the money coming in already.

  4. Anonymous says:

    One of the (several) worrying things about this article is that there have already been 700 reported road traffic accidents this year. If we have the same for the rest of the year (and this number could well increase given the increased rain levels we experience from now until December) that makes for approximately 1400 crashes in a year. If we take the population of this island as being approximately 55,000 then that means that there's a 1 in 39 chance that a person will be involved in an accident. Compare this to England, where in 2011 there were approximately 135,000 accidents for a population of approximately 53 million people – a 1 in 392 chance of being involved in a crash. Perhaps the authorities might want to take a look at the underlying reasons for us all being 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash here than in England? Maybe the driving test could be made a little more difficult? I've heard of one driver whose test involved driving the examiner to a shop and waiting outside while the examiner did his shopping, then driving back to the test centre. Not exactly a demanding test of driving ability!

  5. Anonymous says:

    well just maybe the police should keep off of theirs as well while  they are at work.

  6. Anonymousrobert says:

    Cayman leaders need to buckle up. Too many of our Govt. leaders, ministers, teachers are out and about on our roads not wearing seatbelts as an example for others and observing the laws of the land. 

  7. 4 Cayman says:

    Well done RCIPS. Now lets get on solving these burglaries and placing the perps behind bars!

  8. brit says:

    Only 839!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I see it all the time everyday of the week. I could fill a ticket book in a few hours!!! and not just for talking but also for not wearing a seat belt & not having a child in a car seat I could go on & on & on & on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  9. Go cops go says:

    These cops are really something. Look at their record for catching drivers on phones. Well I guess baby cops got to do baby jobs na true? Because the real criminals are doing their crimes while those negligently speaking on the phone while driving are paying the fines. Not saying they shouldn't deal with the phone issue, but come on officers, I KNOW you got bigger fish to fry. Stop wasting the publics time, money and safety on such petty misdemeanors. Speaking as a guy who had the cops follow him to the gate of his home for absolutely no road reasons. Seeing this headline im guessing that cop was looking for a reason. haha, do soemthing useful with your lives thats all im saying

  10. Anonymous says:

    Word of Advice:


    Before trying to stop the locals from doing it, maybe the law needs to be enforced on the officers first. You really can't expect people to follow a law when the leaders are breaking it themselves.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Interesting report. Has there been a decline in serious injuries. Is it true the traffic department is non-existent? If so, could that explain lower yoy DUI?

  12. Anonymous says:

    another reason to crackdown on illegal window tinting…..why is this not enforced?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Handsfree Bluetooth Headset – $50 to $100

    Traffic ticket – $150


    • Anonymous says:

      Handsfree Bluetooth Headset – $50 to $100

      Traffic ticket – $150

      Thinking you'll get away with it or the law does not apply to you – National Pastime.

    • Anonymous says:

      The law that really needs to be enforced is the "car seat' law. I see babies crawling all over the car,  driver and passengers when the car is moving. Only a matter of time before one is projected through the front wind screen. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    I see this everyday, sometimes 2 and 3 times a day. This is a sure money-maker for CIG because people just wont listen. Keep it up RCIP, if they cant hear, they wil feel (in their wallets)

    • Bear Baiter says:

      Gee, from the drivers i see on the roads the cops must be catching ALMOST 1% of offenders!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    THIS is the sort of offence for which a public "name and shame" list IS appropriate. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, take pictures of others using their phones in a car with your camera phone in a car!

  16. Anonymous says:

    More police and triple the fines.

    Speeding twice and you lose you car.


  17. Anonymous says:

    wel done rcips……..

    but surely a private company could be used to enforce traffic regulations…….this would free up the rcips to engage in real crime fighting……the cost of policing would be reduced….. gov would recieve more funds from fines…..the roads would be safer…..

    it would be a win-win for everybody……

    • Anonymous says:

      They don't go for that around here

    • Anonymous says:

      …and who would pay the private company….errr, government?

      • Anonymous says:

        no… they make their money from the fines too….. private enterprise will preform better than government everytime….

        • Anonymous says:

          yea, they will do a better job like the reports we hear all the time of the corruption in the inspection and and licensing privatization. Ummmm….

  18. Anonymous says:

    I do wish these people who insist on using the blower whilst driving take up cycling instead. It'd make the roads considerably safer and at the same time lead to an increase in levels of fitness.

    • Anonymous says:

      To do this, we need to have more bike lanes.  It's ridiculous that there aren't any considering how small the island is…. drivers have no consideration for cyclists.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Their quota must have been raised….plus we know that the Govt can use the help

  20. Anonymous says:

    Fines on their own will not reduce the incidence of road traffic offences.  A penalty points system with the threat of loss of driving license will.  Wake up government and act to save lives!

  21. Anonymous says:

    As I hidebehind my tinted windows, I call out Baines. Catch me if you can, you super policeman.

    • Anonymous says:

      We'll be wanting your license plate # first bobo. Then we can play. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    wow thats a good source of income for the government – now how about enforcing the law with respect to people who park in handicap spaces (and they are not handicap or do not posses a licence to do so).  Can people who have parked in these spots, and have been caught by camera, automatically get a ticket – I hope so.  Just think, if a bunch of other laws were enforced in Cayman, we could have our debt to the UK paid back in no time!! 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      We do not really owe the UK any money!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      What debt to the UK? We do not owe the UK anything. We've been over this a hundred times. Why can't people get it into their thick skulls that the UK merely approves Cayman borrowing from financial institutions and does not itself lend us any money? 

  23. Porky Le Pig says:

    Excellent!  Now, that you've figured out this gig (level 1), try your hand at catching burglars next (level 5)…  If at first you don't succeed have Commissioner McBeans demonstrate the art of apprehension.  His under the rug sweeping skills are phenomenal – on par with those of our Honourable Attorney General who nimbly surpasses all in the collect a fat cheque category with little added value to show for.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I would have expected traffic accidents to fall following  the cell-phone ban. Perhaps the increase is caused by surreptitious texting, thus confirming  the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  25. Anonymous says:

    And what about the police?

    • Anonymous says:

      I see police on the phone and driving often right here on the Brac!   Especially a certain lady that was involved in a crash which cost the Cayman purse a police vehicle, or repairs at least.