8,000 drivers make use of amnesty

| 18/11/2019 | 71 Comments
Cayman News Service
Planning Minister Joey Hew makes his contribution to the budget debate, 13 Nov 2019

(CNS): Almost 8,000 drivers took advantage of the amnesty that enabled them to avoid paying owed fees for unlicensed vehicles and helped clean up the licensing registry. Joey Hew, the minister responsible for the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL), told the Legislative Assembly during the budget debate last week that over 4,600 people re-licensed and regularized their vehicles. More than 2,500 suspended their licences and more than 820 vehicles were terminated.

The minister also revealed plans to improve services at the department. He said the DVDL dealt with almost 70,000 customers last year but expect to have dealt with around 90,000 by the end of this year. He announced that the Crewe Road office in George Town will be expanded and government will be moving the West Bay licensing office to a much larger site, where the DVDL would also be able to offer car inspections, as the workload at that office had outgrown the space a long time ago.

Hew said the department would be encouraging customers to make use of its online services and confirmed that the new plate licensing system would finally be completed early next year. Hew admitted having technical challenges with the system and explained that delays in replacing plates were as a result of the significant increase in vehicle imports over the last year.

More broadly, he said that tackling traffic problems, especially for Eastern District commuters, was going to a priority for his ministry over the coming two years. A number of short-, medium- and long-term projects were in the works to address this increasing problem, the minister added.

Hew announced that in addition to new road developments, enhancements of existing highways and the start of the East-West Arterial expansion, the mass transportation plan would get underway during this budget period. He said that there would be changes to the roads legislation, which would include a ban on the importation of old vehicles.

He pointed to plans to improve road construction and drainage, as well as the introduction of “complete streets”. The first major enhancement of a road designed for everyone’s use, not just cars, will be the West Bay Road, he said. It will also be introduced in downtown George Town, where their are plans to examine the direction of traffic.

As part of the George Town enhancement project, roads and sidewalks in town will be repaved and reconfigured, and work will soon start to upgrade Heroes Square and plant many more trees around town. He also spoke of the changes to planning regulations to allow for mixed-use developments that will allow the project in George Town to get underway.

Hew said that after much analysis and planning, the physical project would begin next year.

See the minister’s full address on CIGTV below:

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The crisis on the roads cannot be addressed simply by building new roads. By my estimation 20%-30% of the cars are not fit to be on the roads and a half-decent annual inspection could get these dangerous vehicles out of circulation. Just Introduce emissions testing and that will go a long way to ease congestion and be environmentally friendly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Imagine the scenes in town when the port is built and Oasis class ships are letting off their passengers, traffic as far as the eye can see…


  3. Anonymous says:

    No comment from the Governor on this blatant vote buying scheme?

  4. Anonymous says:

    How is it I just myself can see thousands of infractions weekly but there’s never cops around doing anything. They’re driving around with their lights on but that’s all. And why are there no emergency turning lanes on the bypasses? If a cop is on one side and that huge median with a huge concrete curb is between them and a speeder on the other side the cops not ever going to do anything cause they can’t get to them quick enough. I’m seriously questioning who designed these roads. Seems like someone drew one in their kindergarten class and took it to planning and it got approved.

    People stall at the roundabouts and don’t go when they have a chance because they don’t know how to drive and people stop at that light that’s now installed on W. Bay Rd. going to Eastern Avenue when it’s not even on!!! Idiots.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So the issue with the plates is the cars being imported. Why is it then, that my SUV has been waiting for over 2 years for the new style plate?

    The new plates are Emporer’s new clothes stuff.

  6. Anonymous says:

    the usual non update from the do-nothing ppm. the traffic crisis is beyond the grasp of anybody in cig.
    building more roads is only pathetic vote buying that also helps keeps the nra and pwd busy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Only an idiot would read this as a success story; this is quantification of Unity regime – and Hew’s Ministry’s ineptitude.

    • Phil Bodden says:

      What would be nice at the George Town Site, is to fill in the pond so we can have more parking spaces, and remove the STUPID NUMBERING System as It DOES NOT WORK, still takes you 2 hrs to do a simple transaction

  8. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

  9. Anonymous says:

    All this does Is highlight how ineffective the police are. They can’t even find offenders stuck in traffic.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are too busy checking for tint on windows to think about non payment of fees.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wish that were true – they ain’t busy.

      • Anonymous says:

        I see way too many cars with illegal tint for this to be true. Maybe they pull over one or two. But if that’s all they did all day, then their countrymen would spend too much money in fines.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe 8000 vehicles….

  11. Anonymous says:

    So in Grand Cayman law abiding people have to pay and non law abiding(criminals in other words) don’t. Makes perfect sense.

  12. Anonymous says:

    And yet again this evening ,all 8000 of them and more and stuck in gridlock for hours somewhere between George Town and Prospect. Thanks Joey!

  13. Anonymous says:

    All this did was put more junkers back on the road and make traffic worst!

  14. Anonymous says:

    crush every car over 15 years old and gets some real traffic police

    • Anonymous says:

      I would’ve agreed if it wasn’t for the first point! My car is exactly 15 years old and runs fairly good and up to standards (mine are higher than the useless DVLDs) and better off than some cars I’ve seen that are barely 5 years old. But I do wholly agree with you about traffic police, in fact i think we should have a separate highway patrol or department of public safety who would actually care care about citizens snd road safety. Our present traffic unit violate more traffic laws than the average half brained driver!

    • Anonymous says:

      Bring down the ludicrous price of buying a vehicle here first!

    • Anonymous says:

      My car works great and is 17 years old. So no. I know cars that are 8 years old and falling apart so…

    • Anonymous says:

      Brilliant, so you say crush all of the classic cars on the island. I think what you meant to say was those that aren’t road worthy. Make your brain cells do some heavy lifting before they blow their wad in your mouth next time.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How in a 102 sq mile country can you not efficiently find and charge these people for breaking the law

    Seriously, these people have to go to work in the day, and they drive home in the evenings
    Set up checkpoints every day if you have to

    What is the point of the rest of us being suckers and following the rules when the CIG sits back and lets so many people get away with stuff like this for years and then gives them amnesty

    • Anonymous says:

      How you except them to provide for themselves and their family if you take their transportation. You just making harder on poor folks.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you man decent a public bus system from your politicians! The public buses here seem to only be for the Jamaicans

  16. Anonymous says:

    We need a modern bus system with state of the art buses like Bermuda! We boast about being the most privileged Caribbean island but lack in so many things..
    Having a reliable bus system with buses that can hold up to 30 people will reduce the amount of cars on the road! And I know we have the money for it! Please stop wasting our dollars on pointless things like Tara’s unnecessary trip to Hollywood or tearing up roads that were just fine!

    Can’t wait till 2021! These people have no sense!

  17. Anonymous says:

    At least that’s one less than the 8001 illegal beach vendors who took advantage of his previous vote buying cop-out.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Not all these vehicles were on the road…some are trailers not being used and mine was a vehicle off the road since failed last inspection. I don’t think everyone knew there was an option to suspend without going through process of turning in plates.

  19. Anonymous says:

    ELIMINATE the two entrances to the roundabout by red bay primary and make 1. I’m sick of being cut off by people well behind me using the other entrance.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Like many articles on CNS, this one highlights a massive two-pronged problem that no one ever seems to address, and this is the rampant non-compliance with the law and complete lack of enforcement of the law. It is unbelievable to me that so many people would be driving unlicensed (and therefore probably uninsured) vehicles. Sure the odd person simply forgets somehow, but the majority do it knowingly and play the (very good) odds that they won’t get caught. This happens with traffic laws, planning laws, labour and pension laws…it goes on and on. It isn’t about a lack of online services, and pouring more money into DVDL isn’t going to enhance compliance. The law is regularly and routinely flouted by so many residents because the likelihood of getting caught is slim, and of any real punishment even slimmer. No one seems concerned with those who are victimized by uninsured drivers, unscrupulous employers and neighbours who flout Planning. Why bother with “complete streets” when you aren’t going to ticket vehicles parked in the bike lane (witness near The Strand)? Putting in new and better roads is nice, but if you aren’t going to clamp down on the poor and distracted driving it’s a half measure. Stop trying to cover up lack of enforcement with “amnesty” programs – put proper laws in place and then enforce them – that is a government’s job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly, enforcement doesn’t buy votes, which is what these “amnesty” programs are designed to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        I used the amnesty and I still won’t vote for them. I never voted for any of the ones that got in.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is not always the case. I had a vehicle that wasn’t working. I went to the licencing with the gentleman to transfer it. I was at the counter with the gentleman and signed the transfer form. I asked the lady if I could leave after signing and she said I could. I was surprised when after 5 years, I went to licence my current vehicle and was asked which one. That is when I found out it was still in my name. I followed up with the guy that had bought it and he said he had scrapped it and took it to the dump. So I was one of those 8,000 but not because I was driving around in an unlicenced, uninsured car.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the DVDL staff are only witnessing your signature as opposed to transferring ownership (which would normally require back license to be paid if any at formal transfer) – the new owner can drive off and never register the car in his/her name. I had the same problem, police called me for a car still in my name I’d sold 18 months prior.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you fell for that old yardie scam then you got exactly what you deserve.

      • Anonymous says:

        We got called for two cars, both wrecked in Ivan, insurance claimed, where we had years ago submitted the plates for the 5% duty waivers on their replacements. That’s how bad the records are/were. Still waiting for new RFID plates.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be new here. CIG is great at making laws, terrible at enforcement.

    • Anonymous says:

      It won’t happen here. Third world culture rules and will rule for many years to come. It is Government’s job to do the will of the people. The people are third world edumacated and happy with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      police commisioner does not believe law enforcement is the answer.
      welcome to wonderland.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The data is incredible or just does not make sense. It was reported last week that total population was ~68,000. This number needs to be discounted for those under the driving age. Does this mean that with an anticipated number of customers of 90,000 in 2020, almost all of the population of persons eligible to drive, has two cars or more per person?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would assume the data covers each visit and so would include persons who have to go to the DVDL more than once for the year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many people license for less than a year, so visit multiple times for the same vehicle.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government’s statistics are crap. The ESO should be called upon to explain the disparity between what they tell us, and the facts.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So part of the solution will be to ban old vehicles. While I agree there should be standards What about those of us who cant afford a new vehicle. Another well thought out solution.

    • Anonymous says:

      mass transit and no car for you!

    • Anonymous says:

      That is why we need a proper bus transportation system. That way those who cannot afford a newer vehicle (as well as those who want to save on gas) wouldn’t need to worry about it. Imagine a 24-hour bus transportation system with regular stops at proper bus-stops, where you are guaranteed to catch a bus every 15 or 20 minutes.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Do the math – that’s over one in eight of the entire population. This is a joke!

    It’s time to start doing what they do in the UK – seizing cars being used illegally and crushing them.

  24. Rodney A. Barnett says:

    This if wonderful news, of course, but I wonder when Government will begin reconstruction of local access roads.

    I live on Drake Quay which is accessed by Peninsula Road which runs adjacent to the Esterly-Tibbits Highway. Peninsula is in terrible shape partially due to heavy truck traffic from the Water Companys heavy trucks and recent construction.

    Every rain causes consideral pot-holes to errupt in the pavement and large puddles of water. Along Cook Quay where it meets Pensinsula the new housing on that street has created what can be best described as a “pond” taking days to drain and evaporate. What a mess on a street lined with million dollar apartments. The Water Company does send crews out to fills potholes, which is creatly appreciated, but this is not enough, and is required after every rainfall. A costly process.

    In any case the road needs rebuilding to include sufficient drainage and an ability to carry the heavy trucks/tractors that often use it while accessing the Water Company. I’ve heard this is a private road, but have no idea of this is true. If so, the government should require adjacent property owners to caugh up the cash and repair it! These conditions are not favorable for a country like Cayman that touts itself as the most developed in the caribbean.

    • Rodney Barnett says:

      Clarification: I was only referring to the Government’s plans to improve and increase roadways.

      The issue about numbers of cars does not make sense to me either. Also there is no reason for unlicensed vehicles cluttering the island. The vehicle is either licensed or not. Look around and see all these junk cars everywhere. Just outside AL Thompsons there is a car dump with a mess of abandoned vehicles serving as storage containers, car wash facilites, etc. What a mess.

      Cayman MUST clean up its act, and do so during the coming budget period. Right now is a junky place. Not a tropical island as it claims.

    • Anonymous says:

      Peninsula Ave is owned by a neighbour of yours on Magellan. I live on another Quay & we coordinate the repaving of our road ourselves – getting each property owner to chip in (3 times in the 30 years). It is private so government is not responsible.

      • Rodney Barnett says:

        This is interesting information. But I am ignorant on the reason why something that is clearly used by the “public” is considered “private”. To me a private road is one that serves only ONE property (a driveway), not hundreds of indicidually owned homes.

        As for “chipping in” to get the road fixed. Forget it. A road that serves less than a dozen homes is one thing. One that serves hundreds is something else. Even developers who construct million dollar dwellings are unwilling to fix the road in from of thier developments — take a look at Cook Quay where Twenty-40 was just completed. Be sure to ride by after a rain. What a joke.

        Why would someone hold title to such a road? Do they plan to lock it off and make it a toll-road? If there is an accident caused (even in part) by the poor condition of the road, is the owner responsible? Can he be sued? The CIG must change the law on these “private” roads, forcing developers to deticate them to the government and then CIG must take over maintenance.

        If the CIG can send its Ministers around the world to “conferences” in Monaco, London, and Hollywood championing the islands, it can afford to maintain its secondary roads.

        • Anonymous says:

          Drake Quay is not a public road. It is a dead end road to access the properties along it.
          The governors harbour home owners negotiated with government to keep peninsula way with its two access points off the by pass, before the by pass was built.
          The previous owner of peninsula avenue did not pay their company fees so the current owner paid the penalty fees to government & took over ownership.
          The previous access to governors harbour, from the old road was a road across from public beach and then onto the road about. Multiple min lots off the round about were sold off (not sure what their purpose was) but someone on Magellan north has managed to buy theirs up, clear the trees & extend their house lots towards the old roundabout.
          I’m just a piece of deft wood though so I’m sure some caymanian can fill in any more blanks. If not, go to lands & survey and look at the lot maps, pay to see ownership.

    • nauticalone says:

      Same situation with Kaibo road for decades now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe Peninsula is a private road, so get your friends together and have it fixed. I lived on Drake and CIG was supposed to take over Peninsula after Ivan but it never happened.

    • Anonymous says:

      For tens of millions per year (including DART contributions, and CUC Gov’t Fuel Duty which supposedly gets diverted to the NRA Fund), the Minister, the NRA, and the NRA Fund, can’t seem to maintain the existing Gazetted roads and curbing, sign streets properly, delineate dual lane roads, consistently paint roundabout turn instructions, look right pedestrian warnings, or any semblance of cycle lane stencils. But they will find money to install and plumb up, completely unnecessary crosswalks in dimly-lit areas where there are no pedestrians wanting to cross the road, because nobody has bothered to put a sidewalk or lighting on the other side, and speed radar on streets with no speed limit signage. You can’t make this stuff up. This is the Unity gov’t.

  25. Anonymous says:

    What a friggin joke this guy is. Fix the damn dump Joey.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Gross inefficiency. Why are the rest of us paying faithfully, while the majority are encouraged to wait for the annual amnesty to get a free pass?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well done Joey. Kind of emphasizes the lack of enforcement by the police, don’t it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t understand how you can state well done Joey yet the RCIPS/DVDL are an extension of government that have lacked and proven to complete their jobs! Whilst law abiding citizens pay their dues to be compliant and the “criminals” get a free get out of jail card. A similar situation happened after hurricane Ivan Government assisted those without property insurance whilst the ones that did paid and were under insured struggled and still struggling to get back on their financial feet.

      • Anonymous says:

        Joey got them licensed. The cops seem to have done nothing and continue to be the subject of island-wide disdain for their ongoing failure to consistently enforce our laws.

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