Cyclists and pedestrians suffer over bad driving

| 19/09/2019 | 50 Comments

(CNS): Royal Cayman Islands Police Service statistics show that 88 cyclists and pedestrians were hit by cars last year on local roads. Three people were killed and another 57 sustained injuries, many of them serious. Although police usually issue releases when a person is killed or badly hurt on the roads, many of these collisions go unnoticed by the public and get lost in the growing toll of road accident victims.

Cyclists and pedestrians are being mowed down, often in hit-and-runs, largely in and around George Town and West Bay. But two of the most serious incidences over the last 15 months took place on Cayman Brac. Marvin Ryan was killed when he was hit by a car on Watering Place Road near to La Esperanza bar, and a cyclist was critically injured on Gerard Smith Avenue when she was hit by a car.

The two cyclist who were killed over the last twelve months were Ignacio “Nacho” Kirzner (21), who was killed when he was hit by a drunk driver on North Church Street, and Geoff Cornwall (56), who died when he rode into a car parked in the cycle lane on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

With the road death count mounting again this year, the police noted the multiple serious traffic collisions over the past few weeks and issued another warning to drivers about the consequences of engaging in dangerous driving practices.

This past weekend, from Friday to Sunday, 13-15 September, police officers arrested seven drivers for drinking and driving, including the man involved in a serious collision on Saturday night. Another four of those arrests followed crashes where one of the drivers involved was over the limit, including one where a driver had a blood alcohol level of 0.236%, which is twice over the legal limit.

Between Saturday and Tuesday this week another 13 drivers were prosecuted for speeding, which is also a major cause of local crashes.

Police reminded drivers that speeding fines can be significant as they are calculated on how much the offender exceeds the limit on the road where they were caught, with a charge of $20 for every single mile per hour above the speed limit. So a driver travelling at 50mph in a 40 mile per hour zone will be charged $200.

Fines are doubled in school zones. People caught doing 25mph in a 15mph school zone, face a fine of $400.

“People are often shocked when they find themselves faced with a fine of several hundred dollars,” said Inspector Dwayne Jones, who heads up the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit. “However, these fines are easily avoidable if you simply follow the law. Pay attention to your speed and pay attention to the road signs so you know how fast you should be going, especially within a school zone.”

Drivers caught over the alcohol limit can lose their licence for at least one year. Jones once again urged drivers to make a plan for getting home if they intend to drink. “Simply following these steps can save you significant unwanted expense, the inconvenience of losing your licence, and maybe even help save a life.”

See the RCIPS document outlining the cyclists and pedestrians hit by vehicles since last July in the CNS Library.


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Comments (50)

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  1. Bertie : B says:

    I have always said Never would I take the chance of being on a bicycle in Cayman . Its suicide man . Seen some scry stuff out there. I feel for the people that have no choice .

  2. Driver of cars says:

    Bicycle riders would be better off if they;
    1. Ride WITH the flow of traffic. It’s actually in the law.
    2. Ride with lights in front and behind. That too is the law.
    3. Don’t ride on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are for pedestrian traffic.
    Thank you!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah but drivers are the problem. Not most cyclists.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is an excellent comment and people gave it thumbs down… unbelievable!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right about the lights. The rest is not Law or Regulation. Weirdly, most bikes would also need to have speedometers! Who knew?!?

      Traffic Regulations 2012

      §13(6) (6) The following are the minimal lighting requirements for the following vehicles –
      (a) a pedal cycle shall have a forward facing light capable of displaying a white light to the front of the pedal cycle, a rearward facing light capable of displaying a red light to the rear of the pedal cycle and a rearwards facing reflector, and the lights shall make the pedal cycle clearly visible in the night from a distance of 50 yards;

      (7) A person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable to the general penalty specified in section 138 of the Law.

      19. A vehicle or pedal cycle capable of traveling under its own power at a speed in excess of fifteen miles per hour shall be fitted with a speedometer clearly visible to the driver and indicating to him the rate of travel of the vehicle in miles or kilometres per hour, up to its maximum designed speed, with an accuracy of not less than ninety per cent.

      20. (1) Subject to paragraph (3), a person shall not use or drive *a vehicle* on a road specified by the Traffic Management Panel by notification in the Gazette otherwise than in the direction so notified.
      (2) A person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term of twelve months, or to both.

    • Anonymous says:

      And Cyclist need to ride in designated Bike Lanes, not in vehicle lanes. They need to be ticketed.
      p.s. I see unobstrcted Bike Lanes, yet they ride wherever they want without regarding vehicular traffic. Especially by the Kimpton.

  3. Leslie A. Williams says:

    Greetings. Cyclists are being treated badly at times but my concern is why so many cyclists ride at nights without lights while wearing dark clothing. POLICE DEPARTMENT PLEASE DO SOMETHING. Thanks

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    • Anonymous says:

      You want the Police to ticket them under what section of what code? The Traffic Law 2011 doesn’t require lights on bikes, just as the NRA Operating Plan 2015-2020 doesn’t seem to require Joey Hew to incorporate cyclists into the traffic management plan. Until things start to make sense, motorists should expect there to be cyclists on the roads sometimes without lights (like any other night). Menial labourers will continue to be kept working late, and will not necessarily have the time, bike security, or budget to go down to Uncle Bills for a $70 incandescent light from 1995.

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      • Anonymous says:

        $70? You can get them for $10 at cost u less.

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      • Anonymous says:

        True, it’s in the Traffic Regulations 2012:

        §13(6) (6) (a) a pedal cycle shall have a forward facing light capable of displaying a white light to the front of the pedal cycle, a rearward facing light capable of displaying a red light to the rear of the pedal cycle and a rearwards facing reflector, and the lights shall make the pedal cycle clearly visible in the night from a distance of 50 yards;

        (7) A person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable to the general penalty specified in section 138 of the Law.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure how or where you got your license. There is no parity in your being surrounded by a steel cage, and the others being fully exposed. Drivers are the ones with all of the power to apply gas or brake and steer. Drivers are required to be prepared to stop if necessary, and allow distance to do so. The posted speed limit only applies when the road is clear. You still have the obligation to make sure the roadway ahead is clear, or will be clear before you arrive there, by looking ahead and anticipating. Many of us have been safely driving for decades without having nearly killed anyone or anything. We don’t make a big deal about that, because it is understood to be part of the social contract. Drivers are not excused to run down people in the street because the posted speed limit is 50.

  5. Spongebob Triangularpants says:

    Typical symptom of Cayman caused by self-entitled, self-righteous indignant arrogance.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    You folk whining about cyclists that you almost hit blah blah blah. I really doubt those are online reading your comments. Most are the other way around and are careless when passing cyclists, passing them and then taking a left in front of them…
    I’ve had to stop riding because of being hit a few times and the many numerous near misses.
    Cayman should be ashamed of not having cycle lanes on every main road. Would go a long way to help traffic…

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    • Correction please says:

      Blah blah blah yourself! I have have to avoide MANY cyclists by crossing over to the other side of the road or just staying behind them while other cars behind me honk honk because I dont pass the cyclist. If I did try to pass the cyclist I would most likely hit him/her.
      I admit there are inconsiderate drivers on these roads, believe me and not just incondiserate to cyclists but to other drivers too. However I will not be lumped into the commenters you are referring to.
      Grand Cayman has a main road which can be considered a “highway” on which all types of vehicles must drive. I would like to see you cycling on I95 2 to 3 riders side by side.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “If I did try to pass the cyclist I would most likely hit him/her” <– I'd submit that if it hasn't occurred to you that you can adjust your course with the steering wheel provided with your steel cage, then maybe you shouldn't be driving?

      • Anonymous says:

        #notalldrivers

  7. Anonymous says:

    This this this!!! When I was knocked off my bike by a young driver she only had one thing to say, “but I had my indicator on”. She said this after I smashed into the side of her car because she sped past me to beat me to turn. The witnesses couldn’t believe what she did. I still see people driving like this, race past the person on a bike so they don’t have to wait two seconds for them.

    So you, person in a car, be a little more aware of your surroundings as you’re the ones who will kill and not get killed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As a cyclist, you need to slow down and defer to vehicles. They are more powerful. Cyclists do not appear to be looking, they ride as if invinceable.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Bike lanes were (again) promised in the “NRA Corporate Strategic Plan 2015-2020”. With a recurring minimum budget of $10mln per year to the “Road Fund”, plus public-private donor dollars, and additional Capital Works requisitions (at least another $5mln a year).

    Major Capital Road Asset Improvements spreadsheet begins on page 19 (revised 15th Feb 2016), with “Island-wide Shoulder Improvement & Bicycle Lanes Installation Program” supposed to have begun in 2016 budget year. Where are those? All of our roads/roundabouts created or updated after 2015 were supposed to include bicycle lanes.

    Joey Hew should admit his failure to oversee his own ministry, or take immediate action to correct the discrepancies. Where did half-a-decade of budgeted money go?

    https://www.caymanroads.com/images/formsdoc/NRA_Corporate_Strategic_Plan_2015-2020.pdf

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Maybe, just maybe, we can get ALL the people on bikes to ride on the correct side of the road!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    This what happen when you import cheap labours from third world countries. And pay them $4.00 an hour.
    How you expect them to buy cars?? They ride biycles cause thats what they used to. Then you got 40,000 cars on the roads here what you think going to happen??

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Its Cayman. You will find large numbers of drivers who are inconsiderate, disrespectful, and could care less if they kill you while trying to pass as many people as they can so they can brag about it to themselves. Third world drivers, third world law enforcement, and dysfunctional government mean that every time you get on the road here you better be ready to get cut off and run off the road, watch for the busses that are stopped in the road around blind corners, locals that can not comprehend the rules of using a roundabout, and the hundreds of other things every driver see’s every day here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A cop cut me off this morning!

      • Anonymous says:

        A cop car rushed past me as I was reversing out of a parking space!

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        • Anonymous says:

          I think you will find the car reversing out is meant to give way. He shouldn’t run into you but you are meant to check the way is clear before you back out.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Rushing means the cop wasn’t driving safely and no one reversing could see someone coming at pace until they suddenly appear when the view isn’t blocked by other parked cars.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I did!
            Am I the only one noticing a prevalence of cars rushing to get past a car trying to reverse out of parking spaces, even when they are halfway out?!
            And of pedestrians casually walking behind cars reversing??

  12. Jim says:

    I just returned from a 5 week trip From British Colombia to New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Miami. I have seen more accidents here and worse driving in the 3 days since I returned than during that 5 weeks. There needs to be a sea change in the policing of the roads, not just ticketing the low hanging fruit of 10 miles over the limit on straightaways, but to actually ticket drivers who pass on solid lines, around curves, drive unsafely around bikes and pedestrians, and lots more! I don’t suggest a police state, but this is ridiculous. The Chief of Police must know how to do it, what is standing in the way of proper enforcement of road safety??

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  13. Anonymous says:

    If a motorcycle is behind you in traffic, please let them filter by on your side.

    We aren’t skipping the line – we’re easing the congestion for you!

    Yesterday I had an elderly lady look at me in her mirror then purposely moved over to the side she saw I was attempting to pass on to block me. Like seriously???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nah. Many motorcyclists have no respect and sneak up on vehicles, scaring them. Drive Motorcycles responsibly, please. We cannot always see you rushing us.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Good drivers suffer also!!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    And that is the reported ones. You can probably double that figure

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  16. Cyclist phobia says:

    Yet no one speaks about the cyclists who push their limits and are not hurt or killer only because CONDISERATE drivers jam on their brakes or pull to the side to avoid hitting them. We have some drivers on this Island that should not hold a driver license but at the same time there are some cyclists that need to permanently park their bicycle/motorcycle.

    I speak from experience sometimes on a daily basis. This is why I give cyclists more than enough space on the road. Even those who seem to be intent on ramming into my car.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Driving is a privilege. Drivers are supposed to be alert, scanning for bicyclists, pedestrians, dogs, kids playing ball, and changing circumstances ahead…you shouldn’t be surprised to see a cyclist, and you, wrapped in steel with high rate of closure, shouldn’t think it’s a selfless act of benevolence not to kill them! When “you’re lucky I chose not to kill you” is the prevailing driving philosophy, and I’m pretty sure it is, then we need to bollard-off purpose bike lanes and create safe bike only corridors north-south, and east-west. We need leaders that understand this.

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      • Cyclist phobia says:

        Who says I have a “you’re lucky I chose not to kill you” mentality. It is a priveledge for EVERYONE to use our roads not just those in a car. Persons walking on the road who CHOOSE to walk 5-6 persons side by side ending up in the middle of the road are taking this privilege to the extreme. I am a careful driver and a considerate one as well but that does not mean that I should not expect to be able to drive on our roads with the same consideration given to me by pedestrians and cyclists!!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    The NRA plan, which was budgeted, called for implementation of bike lanes starting back in 2015. Joey Hew has been saying for years that every new road will have provision for bikes, but none of them do. We need to be angrier about the false promises of this regime. Why are the cycling/triathlon/hotel/CITA interest groups so quiet? Deafening silence.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Why do bars here have a parking lot ?
    Just have a alcohol test at random bars.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    3 days until 6 months after poor Mitchy got hit and any charges yet..??

  20. Anonymous says:

    the irony of cyclists and pedestrians suffering at the hands of irresponsible motorists is beyond belief.
    anybody who is at fault and hits a cyclist or pedestrian should get an automatic 2 year ban.
    let get tough with road safety!

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    • Anonymous says:

      What about the idiots that ride in south sound and ride out in the middle of the road. Coming around a corner and find these idiots!
      Coming from someone who also rides and been riding most my life.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Where are cyclists supposed to exist when there is STILL no separated/cordoned bike infrastructure (even though NRA was paid for them since 2015)? Painting a shoulder line of latex hasn’t created any safety barrier for cyclists or joggers killed by cars within those areas. We need bollards, stencils, humps, and road user awareness that this is actually a priority for the Ministry and NRA. All we get is hot air and a culture supportive of ongoing mismanagement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not always the drivers fault. Some cyclists that were hurt because they did something stupid. I’ve been nearly hit myself because they either come from no where going fast or not wearing reflective clothing at night. If you decide to wear nearly all dark clothes plus, you have dark skin color, I’m not gonna see you until it’s too late. Personally, I think it’s suicidal to ride a bicycle on these roads to begin with…

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    • Anonymous says:

      A two year ban?!? If someone hits a cyclist intentionally, they should go to jail for life, because they are a psychopath and menace to society.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The other day a lady ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and narrowly avoided hitting her. As she crossed my path I noticed she had her phone up to her ear. She didn’t even slow down. This type of inconsiderate behaviour affects motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Drivers must do better! But cyclists and pedestrians have some responsibility too. When possible they should wear bright clothing, reflective if possible. And cyclists at night should ensure they have proper lights and reflectors… and ride on the correct (left) side of the road. Cayman can talk all it wants about ports, airports, trade schools, education, environment, land fill, etc., but I believe one of the biggest issues we have to address is road safety and responsibility. I hope everyone has a safe weekend…

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