Drivers face licence loss over school zone speeding

| 28/10/2015 | 28 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The penalties for speeding in a 15mph school zone when the lights are flashing will soon cost motorists their driver’s licence. Government has agreed to up the ante on the punishment, which is currently a fine of $200. The decision came following a private member’s motion brought by East End MLA Arden McLean in the Legislative Assembly. The details of the penalty have yet to be outlined, but when the law is amended, depending on the speeds clocked, drivers could lose their licence for at least six months.

During the debate, McLean said drivers treated the road in front of Clifton Hunter High School as a race track and pointed to the zones outside the Red Bay and Savannah primary schools as a particular black spot for drivers overtaking and racing through the zone because of the two lanes. He said it was a miracle no child had been killed. He noted, however, that two brothers were knocked down in that area at the beginning of this year.

The brothers were allegedly hit by Acting chief Fire Officer John Bodden’s car as they tried to cross the road on National Heroes Day, Monday 26 January. The elder brother, who is 21, was only slightly injured but his younger 14-year-old brother received serious head and leg injuries. Bodden has been charged with careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, using a vehicle with an expired licence coupon and using a vehicle without a certificate of roadworthiness in connection with that hit and run.

While that incident did not happen during the time that the zone was in operation, members of the Legislative Assembly were all concerned that drivers are risking children’s lives and ignoring the flashing yellow lights, which indicate that the 15mph applies to the stretch of road in the mornings and afternoons as children come and go.

McLean said he wanted to see the licence ban implemented for anyone driving at 20mph in the zones for one year. But Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts, who has responsibility for the National Roads Authority, said government accepted the principle but would need to examine the appropriate speeds for the driving ban to kick-in and the timeline for the loss of the licence. He said the initial proposal from officials was for double the speed and a six month ban. The minister also spoke about the possibility of increasing the signs for the school zones, including warnings further away for drivers approaching the zone.

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Category: Crime

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Police on both sides of lanes, actually giving tickets, twice a day, that will stop them! Nobody wants to pay double for a speeding ticket. Flashing lights don’t matter in this country. There is no respect here at all for school zones, school buses etc. Enforcement in school zones need to be taken seriously and consistently.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I used to live near CH and know what a racetrack it can be at times. But they really need to remember to turn their lights on and off at the right times, and the policemen who patrol there to monitor traffic really should observe those lights too. I have been pulled over by a BT policeman a couple of times there but as I showed him by pointing to the lights – they were not on, and it was almost 9 am. I think the kids were at school because there were none out on the road. But I have also driven by at other times of the day to see the lights still flashing long after school has started. Something needs to be done there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Then make sure the lights are off when school is out too

  4. Anonymous says:

    More tough talk plus little traffic law enforcement equals….er….no change!
    How long now has CIG NRA and other powers been studying lowering the speed limit of seven mile beach road? Yet it remains the same speed limit as the by-pass roads…Why?
    The Police are pathetic at enforcement…and also at setting good driving examples.
    Any competent cops could write tickets all day!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good luck enforcing this – there are several side roads which join Walkers Road within the school zone, such as Denham Thompson, Moxam Way etc. So you can end up within a school zone with a 15 mph limit without passing a flashing light… ready made defence for anyone who wants to keep their licence

    • Anonymous says:

      On Walkers Rd once you have passed the flashing light where is the one to say resume normal speed? I can see it or is it just me?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t care what they do as long as a) it’s policed and b) consistently policed, not just one day a month, or every other day. There are a few issues with the school zones, not all of them have a start and finish point, some you can join mid-way and not be aware the lights are flashing ie in force, some don’t have ‘end of zone’ signs, most you can exit the zone onto a side street, yet have no demarcation of where the zone ends. If they are going to enforce this they better make sure they have their bases covered, because at the moment they don’t.

  7. Satirony says:

    The pedestrian crossing on the GT waterfront towards Paradise Bar and Grill has no warning signage or road markings, and cars constantly park on the approaches making it very dangerous for visitors, yet nothing is done about it. It’s all very well going after drivers, but what about the NRA obeying the road laws themselves in respect of proper signage and road markings? There’s always an excuse, and always will be, until a tourist is knocked down, and then the finger-pointing will start.

    In any case, the Police seem quite happy for drivers to take to the roads with plates, deliberately obscured or even removed, and they allow the morning roads to become daily race tracks, so the idea they’ll actually enforce the proposed school speed limits with any consistency is rather optimistic. I try to respect the Police, but it’s hard when some lack the discipline in the simplest things, like using indicators on roundabouts and at junctions. I see their incompetent driving habits every day, yet setting a good example would only generate respect and cost them nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      And only a fool would put the crossing from Canton across the WB road right where it splits into a turning lane into the Stand…

  8. Anonymous says:

    bla bla bla, no enforcement, no police on the roads, same old same old…..

  9. Anonymous says:

    How about also installing sufficient lighting and the necessary infrastructure to accompany the crosswalk by Savannah Primary School? That road is almost impossible to cross, when pedestrians do, it almost always causes a fender bender as drivers have no warning signs for the upcoming cross walk nor anticipate coming to a full stop. Simple fix people, just get it done already.

    On the bright side, I commend all involved for placing temporary road dividers by Red Primary, effectively eliminating fools from overtaking.

  10. PRND123 says:

    They like to talk tough and pass tough laws.

    But just let a loud mouth voter lose his licence and you will see how quickly the politicians go into reverse on this one.

  11. GG says:

    A big “Thank You”! This is great news. So tired of the crazy, speeding drivers on our roads, especially through school zones. I witness such reckless driving each and every day and it’s so disturbing the ignorance of such drivers. Like the good Sir said, thank God no child has been killed, however unfortunately, should this continue, without serious consequence, it shall only be an issue of when.

    I sincerely applaud the foresight of the officials and look forward to the full execution of the proposal.!

    • Anonymous says:

      Its nothing to do with God. If the fictional creature was real It wouldn’t matter what speed people did. No one would be killed.

  12. Anonymous says:

    kurt is looking into it…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    what about the speed reduction on wb road kurt????

    if you want a perfect example of how ineffective this government is…just look at their failure to bring in a simple speed reduction on wb road over the last 3 years…….muppetts!

  13. Anonymous says:

    If the CIG is going to finally start ticketing people who race through school zones, I would hope that an increased police presence would extend to the private schools as well. Fairbanks road in front of Triple C school is a nightmare and drivers need to pay attention. The school zone signs are hidden by foliage and despite numerous calls to the NRA, nothing ever seems to be done about it. Ideally all school zones and public parks where children play should be restricted from 7:00am – 7:00pm and strictly enforced. While you are at it, how about providing driver training to the school bus drivers who seem to be unaware that they are carrying special cargo and consistently speed all over the island with little regard to their passengers or other drivers on the road!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The flashing lights haven’t been working in Cayman Brac since the start of the school year. It would be nice to have them fixed.

  15. fedup with overtaking says:

    Closed 2 lanes section in 15 mph zones or put island in middle lane to stop people over taking. West bay road need island in turning lane every a mile to stop people overtaking and make safer for people to cross the road.

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