Road crashes more than doubled in 2017

| 23/04/2018 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne (left) and Superintendent Robert Graham at the meeting to present police crime statistics

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service recorded more than double the number of crashes on the roads in 2017 compared to the previous year, and although the number of fatal accidents dropped from seven to three, only one less person lost their lives compared to 2016. With 2,725 collisions, including 30 that caused serious injury, the situation on Cayman’s roads remains dire. With an average of more than seven accidents every day, police management said enforcement was improving with the reintroduction of a dedicated traffic unit.

But that enforcement has not yet been reflected in the figures, as there was a massive drop in recorded offences in 2017 compared to the year before. Despite the huge increase in crashes in 2017 over the 2016 figure of 1,295, police gave out fewer traffic citations in almost every category of driving offence.

Officials said the increase in the number of crashes reflected the change to more precise internal reporting and a move away from driver-to-driver settlement without law enforcement involvement. But the RCIPS stated that officers on the ground believe there is a real increase in crashes, even though 89% of the collisions last year were damage only.

In 2016 police handed out 6,784 tickets to drivers for a wide rage of offences, from DUI to failing to wear a seat belt. In 2017, while road collisions had more than doubled, the number of tickets given fell to 4,823. This was partially explained by the secondment of officers to other jurisdictions during hurricane season and the time it took to develop the traffic unit. But police still nabbed 34 more drunk drivers last year than they did in 2016, even though speeding tickets dropped dramatically from 1,702 in 2016 to 647 last year.

However, speaking at a press briefing on Friday about the traffic statistics, Superintendent Robert Graham explained that the new RCIPS Traffic and Roads Policing Unit is now fully staffed and equipped and that has already resulted in a dramatic improvement in enforcement. During the first quarter of this year 153 drivers have already been arrested — double the amount during the first three months of last year — and speeding tickets have soared to 672 since the start of the year — more than the entire number for last year.

Confident that the new unit will make a difference, Graham said he believed that enforcement totals in 2018 will be much greater than in recent years.

“Hopefully that will help bring about a change in behaviour on the road for the benefit of general public safety, ” he added.

See the crime stats for 2017 in the CNS Library

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure what the RCIPS think they are doing to prevent this. I see at least 10 times the number of ambulances in a given month for each RCIPS sighting. The RCIPS we see aren’t following the road code, nor are they arresting or ticketing offenders within their range of vision.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many functional radar guns do the RCIPS retain in inventory, and how many of those are in use on a given day? Is there any reason why 100% of them can’t be used every day?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I need something to do, can I work for free in the traffic department to help them get organised? I’m serious.

    I find it interesting that almost everyone on any traffic story has at least 10 tips on bad drivers but the cops are only getting about 1%. If we can see these people when we are running our daily errands but the cops still do nothing then there is something wrong with the management of this task force. I don’t understand and can only hope that they hold an open forum to discuss our worries and ideas about how to tackle this problem. Yes, that also means bringing up the taxi mafia. Which politician has the balls to go up against those 25 voters?

    • Anonymous says:

      Rocky ground…increasing fines and charges on traffic offenses can be a double edged sword and needs to be carefully looked at and considered with intelligent outside input. From California originally, traffic violation fines and charges are out of control which has created a huge divide between the public and the police there which is not what Cayman needs. This divide with Cayman been such a small island would only gather pace quicker. Laws need to be changed intelligently because it effects everyone and the relationship which is the basis of law and order..walking neighborhood cops been one proven idea…money does not solve everything…

      Case in point when traffic laws changed here without any outside input to the police and government with regards DUI charges and the breathalyzer machine. They changed it to only one breath test needed to convict someone (before it was two). It never took into account that the breathalyzer machine been used and manufactured to be used needs to take two breath tests to give a reliable breath test result to convict. The machines use was manipulated by a change in law to perhaps accommodate more convictions. Outside input should always be considered when changing laws as money has been proven time and time again never to solve anything only increase agitation.

      • Anonymous says:

        And I would tell them increased fines aren’t the answer. But they need to hold a forum for this instead of thinking they’ve got this. Cause they don’t.

        Over the weekend there was a cop who had pulled a car over (I was going the other way on the road). Came up on the cop 1 minute after a bike had sped past a few cars, again in the opposite lane. They sped up and drove like a maniac because they had just passed a cop and knew there wouldn’t be another one for a few miles if at all. That’s the mentality they need to beat.

  4. Gordon Shumway says:

    Stick a cop with a radar gun near Red Bay primary school around 3:00 every weekday, and ticket the lunatics that drive 50+ Mph through the 15 mph school zone. They’ll make a fortune. It’s a miracle that no kids have been run over there. Absolute miracle.

    The big issue with driving skills is that nearly anyone an come to Cayman and swap their home country license for a Cayman license with little-to-no testing… even though the laws and ways of driving in Cayman may be vastly different than their home country.

    Combine that with the fact that – as a general rule – the majority of drivers are self-entitled goofs who think they own the road and don’t care about laws, speed limits or rules of the road.

    It’s a losing combination.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Please stop and prosecute people riding bicycles and skateboards with motors rigged to them before they get killed.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Car crashes, traffic misdemeanors, etc all have a direct financial correlation in terms of hours wasted in traffic jams, increased insurance premiums and overstretched resources at the various hospitals. All of this adds up to tens of, perhaps even hundreds of millions of dollars every year. The Police effort seems to be focused on reactive approaches rather than proactive approaches. Surely the Givernment can invest a few million dollars in proactive solutions such as speed cameras, permanent roadblocks at strategic points around the Island and other solutions which are out there waiting to be implemented.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to “Ask Auntie” whether any evidence exists that increasing the amount of fines reduces offended or traffic accidents? I highly doubt it.

    You don’t speed or DUI because you can afford the ticket but because the odds of being caught are so low. Changing ticket prices does nothing whatsoever for that.

    Why not introduce speed cameras? They’d pay for themselves and they have been shown to work in both reducing speeding and accidents.

    Must be a fraction of the price of two cops and a car, all things considered.

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    • Anonymous says:

      so following your logic…we might as well reduce fines…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hardly. The point is you can increase them all you want. You’ll raise more money but with no affect on the number of accidents. If raising money is your game that’s great. If reducing traffic offences is the goal then you need to invest the time and money in something else… something that works.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Which would convince you to slow downfall, a $50 or a $500 ticket? Pretty easy to answer without a study don’t you think?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Nope. I don’t want to get a $50 speeding ticket or a $500 one. But I will speed regardless if I think that by far the most likely outcome is to get neither.

        Look at it this way. If the chances of getting caught speeding are 1 in 1,000 then a $50 ticket has an expected value to me of 5c. Yes, it’s nothing. But the $500 ticket only has an expected value of 50c. Still nothing. You’d need a $500,000 ticket to move the dial on my behaviour in terms of the “expected cost” of the behaviour. Of course a $500,000 ticket would be ridiculous.

        A speed camera raises the risk of being caught (in that location at least) from 0.1% to 100%. But there aren’t that many locations to cover. Any accident trouble spots and “straight-aways”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you want to see a substantial reason for the increase, take a really close look at the photograph. It says it all. We are importing driving habits from certain places.

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    • Tut Alors. says:

      12.40pm The Caymanian mantra- blame all your problems on expatriates. In the UK the written and practical driving tests are considerably more advanced than they are here. The vast majority of road accidents in Cayman involve local drivers, speeding or under the influence. There are a small number of bad drivers from overseas, but mostly from other Caribbean islands. You need to contact the motor insurance companies who will educate you as to where the blame lies with facts not racist fiction.

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    • Keyboard Warrior4life says:

      Not necessarily importing. The local drivers are generally terrible, like, really terrible. They only look good because most Jamaican drivers are even worse.

      In most European countries, drivers are required to attain a pretty good level of competency, that entails actual education about things like braking distances and using indicators etc.

      I’m pretty sure most Caribbean drivers got their licenses with a purchase of a multipack of Milo or something. It isn’t their fault, it is just accepted within the area.

      As for North Americans… slightly better than average, but still lacking any idea of how a roundabout should work ie with indications.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    all traffic offense fines need to be trebled.
    solution = effective deterrent and enforcement of laws

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The Roads Policing Unit, and its secret budget allocation, is not even close to being effective or adequately staffed. Is there any cure for the mental disconnect that afflicts the senior executive suite of the RCIPS? Maybe it all needs to be changed. For 10 years the public have been asking for serious efforts, and all we get are these mediocre dribbles of enforcement, that taper, and clot after several weeks of self-congratulation and pitiful stats. As the RCIPS continue to fail to listen and act, the product remains ongoing criminal contempt, with skyrocketing opportunistic and violent crime. Simple cause and effect.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope there’s more enforcement for everyday violations. While your at it get that ticket book ready for people parked in the middle of the road! Any day at smiths cove, in front of that jerk restaurant on walkers, or George Town central.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Traffic Law and Regulations need to be overhauled. There are only a couple pages of offenses in the Law and the RCIPS can’t register, in simple terms, what the prescribed penalties should be. Hence, their greatest hits of: “coupon check”, “speeding”, “tint check”, and “DUI”. But, sadly, they can’t even handle that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, it’s quite common for drivers to “park” in the middle of the road on Cayman Brac.

  12. Anonymous says:

    All sounds good. Keep it up. It would also be nice to see stronger crime fighting language in the police press releases. They always sound faintly apologetic.

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