Police restore dedicated officers to Traffic Unit

| 25/02/2016 | 45 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A dozen people were killed on the roads in the Cayman Islands last year, three times the number in 2014, despite a whopping 79% increase in the number of tickets issued to drivers for speeding, which police said was due to increased enforcement. With more than 2,000 road accidents in 2015, the RCIPS management has shifted staff around within the service in order to once more have dedicated officers in the Traffic Management Unit.

The twelve road deaths in 2015 does not include the death of Kate Clayton, a British woman who was injured in a major crash in North Side in January 2015 but coroners found she died as a result of issues relating to her medical care rather than her injuries.

“A number of factors contribute to this troubling statistic,” said Inspector Adrian Barnett, Head of the RCIPS Traffic Management Unit, “but the fact is that drinking and driving, speeding, and the general failure of drivers to pay adequate attention to what they’re doing continue to be the main causes of fatal accidents.”

With the release of the 2015 statistics (see below), the RCIPS said that in response to the rise in road accidents last year, “senior management pooled resources from a reconfiguration of internal units as part of the recent shift change, and provided officers for dedicated duty to the Traffic Management Unit in order to increase traffic enforcement and investigation”.

Inspector Barnett added, “With these resources and targeted enforcement, we hope to see a positive change in this statistic a year from now but we need the public to work with us to reach that result.”


There was little change in the overall number of traffic offenses or the number of total traffic accidents (1,068 crashes in 2015, which was 26 less than the year before). However, the police pointed out that this last figure only refers to those accidents where a police constable attended.

Under Cayman legislation, drivers involved in minor traffic accidents may simply exchange insurance information without requiring the attendance of police. The total number of accidents for the year including this second type of accident (where an officer does not attend) was approximately 2,230 in a population of less than 60,000 people with around 40,000 registered driving licences.

Although the number of people charged with drinking and driving was down by 36% (186 in 2015 compared to 119 in 2014), this figure is skewed because the cases for some drivers who were arrested in November and December are pending and they may well be charged. The number of drivers charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the last two months of the year currently stands at 14, whereas there were a total of 62 DUI arrests (26 in November and 36 in December).  Police said an update on number of DUI charges for the last two months of the year will be released when it is available.

While the number of citations for speeding jumped from 658 in 2014 to 1,118 last year (up 79%), other safety offences decreased. Using a cell phone while driving was down by 28%, and failing to wear a seatbelt was down 29%. However, the number of people who were caught driving without a licence increased 9%, up from 547 in 2014 to 597 in 2015.

Cayman News Service

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (45)

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  1. Shhhhh. says:

    “twelve deaths in 2015” – maybe an expensive experiment in “closing down” the traditional traffic dept. Food for thought again!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Police need to learn to be tactically distributed in the community, so that they can be scrambled to assist other officers, or arrest a crime in progress while protecting the community. This is the kind of fundamental “showing up” policing effort necessary to restore faith and confidence. Police motorcycles are necessary too – ideally some dirt bikes to pursue wheeling anarchists. There are sport and drag bikes on our roads that have been modified to top out near 200mph. Those chases will only end with a coffin or a roadblock. They need to get out there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All I’m saying is this, and I would hope that you, the reader, would agree, we have some real nutcases on our roads. Just a few days ago I was waiting at the traffic light on the West Bay Road just beyond Wendy’s, headed towards George Town. I was head of the line. Imagine my utter astonishment when a small, white, Japanese-manufactured sedan appeared from my RIGHT and swung round in front of me and to my left, and then proceeded to weave through the junction and turned left to continue on the road towards George Town (!) I observed the driver rapidly reverting into the turning lane as he/she continue the “journey”. My goodness, in my 44 years of driving (8 in the U.K. the balance in Cayman) I have never observed such a thing – it defies understanding. I want the police to NAIL these cretins and restore some level of respect for the law on our roads. Thank you for reading.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a little off-topic, but I’ll say it anyway. I live on the Brac. This weekend has been rife with drivers of rental cars blazing through 25 mph zones and general need-to-speed drivers. Why? It’s the Agriculture show, and many folk from Grand Cayman are over here.

    Look, it’s real simple. If you’re in a hurry, you’re on the wrong island. What’s the rush? This seems indicative of the general mindset of Cayman drivers. Take it easy. We have narrow roads and road walkers and dogs and bicycle riders. Nearly everyone that lives here recognizes that speed really doesn’t get you from one end of the island to the other much quicker than driving responsibly. I have to wonder if that frenetic pace isn’t much of what is wrong with GC’s traffic.

  5. Phil Smalldon says:

    I remember in the 80’s when there was a Traffic Department and dedicated Traffic officers on the road 24/7, When was the Traffic Department disbanded, and why? That’s the question you all have to ask. Now it will cost even more to train these new DEDICATED traffic officers and sort them new vehicles. Not to mention all the equipment they will need. Traffic cars were equipped with video cameras in the 80’s and evidence gathered from that which was used in court. This i know for a fact as i use to be in that same Traffic Department.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is a lot to do to restore anything near proper driving standards in Cayman.
    Consider….why are there never any Police between Spotts and Linford Peirson highway? The driving along that stretch is terrible!
    And even Police and NRA vehicles rarely use indicators / roundabouts correctly?

  7. Sharkey says:

    Sounds like all of us knows what the problems are on the roads ,why don’t we all do the right thing , then the roads would be safer and won’t need the police , and that money could be used for some other purpose.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Could RCIPS and DMV please explain the massive rise in vehicles driving around with no front number plates? I am going to take mine off until I get a satisfactory answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck getting and answer, one former MLA drove around for over 10 years without one. Who mamma is anyway, if you don’t mind my askin’?

  9. Anonymous says:

    12 road deaths, over 2,000 road accoidents all in one year and it took Baines until NOW to figure out that we need a dedicated Trafic Department? Come on H.E., what we really need is a new P.C.!

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is so easy to get a driver’s license here. Are the people that take out for your driving test even educated? It should be mandatory to take the written test every 5 years. It would weed out the drivers that should not be on the road and will create income for government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot, it wont help-writing is not sitting behind the wheel of a potentially lethal 3 ton projectile. This would just increases expenses for everyone. Thank you for wasting our and your own time.

    • Anonymous says:

      No basic vision test either. A joke.

  11. Cocomojoe says:

    Maybe now traffic accident data can be made available to the NRA so that rational road improvements can be made.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s a start but let’s also Educate the driving public….some of whom should never have passed a driving test. Apart from not understanding roundabouts, 8 out of 10 have never heard of a turn signal…they pull out in front of you from lane to lane with no warning and BRAKE or start turning BEFORE indicating (if they bother to indicate) instead of indicating first THEN braking and/or turning. Btw Indicating does NOT mean that you automatically have the right to pull in front of the car in the next lane.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s to ‘dislike’ unless you’re one of the guilty bad drivers ! I guess that’s it…

    • Anonymous says:

      Drivers must yield to traffic ahead, so they do have a right to that spot – unless they have rudely cut you off, or don’t know how the zipper merge works southbound at Camana Bay, then you must act with fierce retribution and lean on your horn and violently wedge them out…apparently.

      • Anonymous says:

        They do not have the right to ‘that spot’ (especially if there is no ‘spot’) if they are in the lane adjacent to you – especially if they come within a millimeter of cutting your front end off because they gave you no indication they were going to move. That is why our cars are equipped with indicator lights.

        • Anonymous says:

          I guess another idiot ‘dislike’ (!?!?!) = One more idiot on the Road !!

          • Anonymous says:

            People are not obliged to agree with you 5.59. It’s called freedom of speech. You need to get over your superiority complex quickly.

            • Anonymous says:

              I think what 5.59 was trying to say…there was really nothing to ‘dislike’ in the comments so people are just hitting the ‘dislike’ button to be objectionable
              ….just saying

  13. Anonymous says:

    What is the plan to have 800 plus outstanding traffic tickets sorted, and what measures are put in place to prevents something like this from happening again?

  14. Anonymous says:

    The real scary number here is the amount of people driving without a license. To me, that is just a complete slap in the face and shows that they do not have one ounce of respect of our laws. Probably the same ones who overtook me on South Sound this morning going 70mph. Clearly way too many people feel comfortable that they will not be caught.

    Good news if there are more dedicated police in regards to traffic offenses, but that only means anything if they actually are doing something, including hours outside 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, no licence = no insurance, only licenced drivers are covered by insurance, so everyone one of these idiots can change your life and have no means of paying for it. There are also a lot of unroadworthy vehicles on the road who get their inspections stamped by a certain few mechanics who turn a blind eye for a dollar or two. If the defective cars get pulled over and the inspections tie back to the same few names, it shouldn’t be that hard to put them out of the dodgy inspection business. Don’t think it’s an issue that tie rod ends are worn, brakes pull to the left, suspension is shot? You will when they can’t stop, steering breaks or roll over and involve you, a pedestrian or tourist!

  15. Anonymous says:

    All BS. in order to protect people you have to want to protect them. RCIP has a culture of laziness and payday waiters. The are not genuine police.

  16. Allar says:

    It took people losing there lives for that clown of Baines to finally realize that we needed to have a traffic unit. The powers to be needs to get rid of this joker

  17. Anonymous says:

    I find it sad that lessons learned in the UK many years ago have been ignored by the RCIPS. Back around 2000 several UK police forces disbanded dedicated traffic units as speed cameras were rolled out. The result was a huge increase in road deaths (the county I come from saw deaths increase from 60 to 104) followed by a hasty return to ‘high profile’ roads policing. Considering how many senior RCIPS officers (including Insp. Barnett) come from the UK you would have expected them to know better, wouldn’t you?

  18. Anonymous says:

    FINALLY!! Can we now get rid of the car lots on roundabouts and all the other distractions to motorists. Insert some discipline on the roads and it might just spill into some other aspects in our society. Ever hopeful!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Yes, tackle the speeding thing. For sure. But for the love of all that is holy…Teach people how to use roundabouts, too!

    I don’t know how many times I see people going 3/4 (or all the way) around roundabouts in the outside lane. SO unsafe and insanely aggravating, too.

    A public info campaign, and a whole bunch of enforcement will only help.

    • Lil Jenny Taylor says:

      The Chrissie Tomlinson roundabout in particular. If you are coming from the Red Bay roundabout and heading Easterly, how hard is it to use the left lane to use the arterial lane and the right lane for Shamrock Road, towards Ocean Club???

      I see tour buses, dump trucks, police cars, tourists, locals all doing this. Stop it now, it is STUPID!!! Does it not occur to them how dumb this is when cars are legitimately having to cut them up from the inside lane of the roundabout when they exit. Most of the outside lane warriors also forget to indicate their intentions too, so you have to do mind reading – which is hard to do when the mind being read is fairly blank.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t get me started on roundabouts, it’s like Russian Roulette using some of them. Even the RICIP’s traffic div. don’t know what lane to use. They all need a 2 week driver’s education course with a practical exam. If they fail, they do it again without pay until they pass. Bloody numpties!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Said it before and will say it again. Bermuda, a similar island hands out about 45,000 traffic violations per year and we do 1/5th of that. 100 speeding tickets per month. I could hand out that many in one day on the Esterly Tibbets alone. Hell, it could be done in about 2 hours!

    All you have to do is look at the fatalities stat. Up three fold! Everything else in that table is BS.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Just great, more sleeping policemen in the roads now.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Would be good to know how many officers. Would be even better to know where they will be and when! Seriously, I really hope they crack down on the really stupid driving as well as the DUI. We have seen, it doesn’t matter what the law is, people generally will break it if there is no enforcement. Which doesn’t say much good about people, their care for others or sense of social responsibility. And this one crosses all local-expat divides. People, at the end of the day, are mostly just animals.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well…that took long enough! I was wondering just how long the Police Management were gonna continue to turn a blind eye to our terrible driving standards.

  24. YesMan says:

    That equates to 20 road fatalities per year for 100,000 people. Very backwards considering the UK has a rate of only 3. Sad…

  25. Anonymous says:

    A sometimes defiantly wheeling white lightless unlicensed dirt bike very much like the getaway vehicle in the Camana bay robbery to’s and fro’s from West Bay to gang operations in George Town every dusk at 6:30. You could set your watch to it. I am very skeptical that so-called traffic police will actually transpire under current regime, but am willing to eat my hat if proved wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m surprised that Motorbikes don’t drive on the wrong side of the road like regular cyclists do – the Police wouldn’t ignore them the same way….

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is a real effort.


    Next issue is that normally the COP is complaining that he don’t have enough officers to reliably provide regular Police coverage to protect the public.

    So I can assume that now he HAS enough resources to effectively provide coverage and the so called dedicated traffic officers a are excess personnel?

    Come on people lets stop this foolishness. We are all supposed to be adults aren’t we?

  27. Anonymous says:

    The fact that there was an increase in the number of tickets issued last year, even though the traffic unit was pretty much nonexistent speaks to just how deplorable the driving practices are on the roads. On the other hand, the decrease in the number of citations relating to driving whilst on cell phones has dropped; no surprise considering that the cops weren’t around to notice!!!! And were probably on their own phones.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I am missing something here…the rcips is now putting more dedicated people onto traffic. What the hell were we paying before???? Come on, this doesn’t sound right. Baines needs to go!!!

  29. Gingerbread Man says:

    Still can’t catch me.

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