Cops concerned over road smash numbers

| 11/01/2021 | 71 Comments
Cayman News Service
Police check point (Photo by RCIPS)

(CNS): Police were called to almost 250 crashes on Cayman’s roads over the month-long holiday road safety campaign, Operation Winter Guardian.In addition, officers issued more than 630 tickets to drivers and 40 people were arrested for drunk driving. While no one lost their lives on the roads during December, the RCIPS is concerned about the number of crashes and drunk drivers on local roads and it will continue to be a priority for the service.

On New Year’s Eve 2,162 people across the islands used the NDC’s Purple Ribbon Bus Service, which helped in keeping the roads safe during the festivities.

In a brief press release about the December safety operation, Acting Superintendent Brad Ebanks, who oversees both Specialist and Uniform Operations, thanked members of the public who made a conscious effort to do the right thing by drinking responsibly and using the various options available for staying safe over the holidays.

The relatively safe festive period was marred by the killing of Michael Aaron Bush outside a night club on Christmas Eve. However, the RCIPS said its efforts to reduce crime were successful in other areas, as robberies, burglaries and thefts were all down in December 2020 compared to 2019. But there were six reports of violent incidents at liquor licensed premises, including one serious assault as well as the murder.

“Any death is unfortunate,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Kurt Walton, head of police operations. “This incident required the activation of additional personnel, who conducted a very efficient and skilled investigation which led to the arrest of a foreign national residing in Cayman, and a charging decision by the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions, who also assigned a crown counsel to the investigative team.”

Walton added that the majority of Caymanians and residents were able to enjoy the holidays safely, something he said Cayman is known for, especially following the success in suppressing COVID-19.

“We are extremely proud of all members of the RCIPS and Special Constables who worked tirelessly and diligently to ensure that the holidays were safe and peaceful,” Walton said. “We also thank our community partners and the members of our community that remained law-abiding and took the opportunity to utilize other modes of transportation to avoid driving while intoxicated.”

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Since around 60% of drivers here don’t seem to know the difference between side lights, colored lights, fog lights, low beam and high beam, I suggest we all just stop arguing and accept that 250 crashes is probably pretty good when looking at the obvious lack of brains.

    For those wondering. Fog lights are to be used in fog.

    High beams are to be used at all times in order to blind as many people as possible.

    Colored lights are for the terminally stupid. Particularly those in jeeps who think red lights at the front look all menacing. Nope. You look like a crappy Honda Civic driver who has won the lottery.

    But seriously, just give up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am always amused that when driving with an insecure load or unlicensed trailer, the use of four way flashers seems to be the way this is ‘excused’. Four way flashers are only intended for stationary vehicles.

  3. Population expansion is stupidity says:

    New path 8:04 pm you know what time it is ! That buy $$$$ my license program run by certain individuals for certain nationalities has put many road menaces behind the wheel here in Cayman, Persons who should not be even on a bicycle needless to say vehicle are now driving. Driving is a privilege not a right mr premier you dingbat ,because it can be taken away. Every time you turn up at the licensing authority it’s filled with these people all trying to get drivers licenses for what? Stop this population expansion horse shit and reduce the amount of pollution and traffic problems and accidents on our roads .How much is enough Alden ?? Stop allowing non Caymanians to import vehicles this motorized Rickshaw I now see roaming our roads is an absolute disgrace

  4. Anonymous says:

    my dashcam records hundreds of traffic offenses every day…why don’t the police want this footage?
    why aren’t all police cars fitted with dashcams?

    • J|) says:

      If you let a licensed driver who meets your insurance criteria use your vehicle, you aren’t liable for their speeding ticket for example. You would have to clearly prove that it was the owner of the car driving and not someone else. Assuming they would take it for face value. Just a guess.

  5. Anonymous says:

    No they are not concerned. If they were they would do something about it. Where is everyone speeding to????

  6. Anonymous says:

    This jurisdiction is a classic case of the blind leading the blind. I followed a police vehicle from snug harbor area to the ALT roundabout and they broke 6 laws in that time. How can these uneducated and incompetent police officers ever hope to fix the situation if they have no clue how to drive themselves. It is hypocritical for them to give a ticket.

    • Anonymous says:

      very correct…i don’t think i have ever seen a police car signal correctly on a roundabout…..any comment commisioner byrne?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Something needs to be done to the Lions Centre roundabout on the Linford Pierson. The speed of traffic going into and over the roundabout heading towards GT is frightening. Some drivers just don’t seem to understand or care about stopping for traffic coming from the right. Anyway I’m sure nothing will be done and we will just have to wait for a couple of people to be killed, perhaps a child too.

  8. A regular “Joe” says:

    Even less “developed” countries have speed check cameras, there are already a whole bunch of cameras in place, however, useless, it appears….
    But, as long as people are not properly “educated” on how to drive , you can drop you “speed limit” signs to 10mph, and see no difference at all.
    At the end, it seems that this system is designed just to make the insurance scammers, I mean, companies, wealthier every day…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Headline – “Cops concerned over road smash numbers”

    Is that headline meant to be funny? For as far as I can make out nobody (and I mean nobody) at RCIPS seems to give a rat’s ass about the appalling standard of driving in Cayman these days. And as a result a significant proportion of drivers do whatever they like when they get behind the wheel – with zero regard for the safety of anyone else on the road. RCIPS totally lost control of the situation years ago. And unless whoever is meant to be in charge of policing the roads is relieved of their duties nothing is likely to change any time soon.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ve lived here for 10 years and we see the same article every few years. When will the police act? In the uk, the driving I see just going from smb to camana every day (5 min drive) would see 10 people arrested and banned from driving in the uk where I moved from or in any other self respecting country. The driving here amongst mainly locals is appalling. It really is astonishingly bad and the police do nothing to enforce it… not indicating on roundabouts or using the correct lane on the highways is the biggest offense but nothing ever gets done. We just have to live with third world driving habits.

  11. New Path for Cayman says:

    This a population issue not traffic issue reduce our population now and avoid this issue and many more related problems. Reduce this population Now Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      I somewhat agree…how about we reduce the departmental payroll of those achieving nothing, in career positions of influence? That is an overpopulated area of concern for sure. That includes the fat cats that were tasked with overseeing construction of our budgeted bike lanes 5 years ago. Solitaire world champions, it seems.

  12. Highway Code says:

    How about the driving instructors teach their students the correct way to indicate on roundabouts. For some reason they are teaching them to:
    1) Approach in the left lane .
    2) Indicate right.
    3)Indicate left after first exit.
    This procedure is incorrect and is only taught for Heavy Goods Vehicles due to their size( they may have to use both lanes).

    The correct procedure is to :
    1)Approach in either left or right lane .
    2)Indicate left after passing first exit.

    No wonder our roundabouts are so treacherous. What chance have we got of changing anything when the public are being taught wrong from the start?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. That’s the UK code. The Cayman one is different. Different in a stupid way, but different nonetheless.

    • Anonymous says:

      It depends which way you want to go surely. Approaching the roundabout in the left lane with the intention of turning right, indicating left to join the roundabout, then right to go round it in the left lane, then left to leave seems to be a peculiarly Caymanian system to cause as many accidents as possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      That particular oddity of driving in Cayman (indicating right when going straight over a roundabout) I think originates from the ‘drive safely in Cayman’ book, it’s a book used by a lot of new drivers as no-one reads the Road Code, including driving instructors. For everyone who down voted the comment I’ve copied the law: In case anyone gets stuck on the first bit about selecting the correct lane and indicating, that refers to indicating that you are changing lanes before the the roundabout.

      (ii) When taking any intermediate exit: (Going straight ahead or taking
      second exit on left)
      • select the appropriate lane on approaching the roundabout, signalling
      as necessary;
      • stay in the chosen lane until you need to alter course to exit the
      • signal left after you have passed the exit preceding the one you want.

    • Anonymous says:

      Driver’s can theoretically circle around forever in the right lane, until they decide where and when they want to signal their departure from the area. There are many European cities with 5 or more roundabout lanes, so that drivers from 5 or more entires can merge and zipper out to the exits. No overtaking and signaling and LOOKING, are usually the self-evident survival norms. Here, we have almost no signaling, lots of overtaking within the circle, random “I’ve waited long enough” non-yielding entries from the left, and the dreaded cross bow left lane overtake. These are 90% of our “sober” accident count.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’d wager that most of those 250 accidents were in exactly the same places as those happening during the rest of the year – mostly at roundabouts from drivers not signaling, and impaired drivers crashing into immovable objects. Among those, Part 7, section 68 of the Traffic Law, “Duties of Drivers” is an entire section the RCIPS seems to think is not worth writing tickets for, or perhaps worse, someone else’s job.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have lived here for many years, and daily I am subject to bad drivers weaving in and out of lanes, no signals, speeding, stopping in the middle of the road for a chat, fabricating a lane where one does not technically exist I’ve see it all.

    And despite all of this, I have NEVER, EVER seen a cop actually pull a bad driver over, they witness it but turn a blind eye instead.

    Until the cops are seen to be making an example of these reckless drivers, the show will just continue the same….day in and day out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oddly enough, not signaling is potentially a KYD$1000 fine and a year in jail. That’s more than Skyler got.

      Traffic Law 2011
      Part 6 Section 57 (1) The Governor in Cabinet may make regulations prescribing all matters that are required or permitted to be prescribed, or are necessary or convenient to be prescribed, as to the use of vehicles, trailers and pedal cycles on roads, their construction and equipment, and the conditions under which they may be used and, in particular, regulations may provide for
      (m) the appliances to be fitted for –
      (i) signalling the approach of a vehicle;
      (ii) enabling the driver of a vehicle to become aware of the approach of another vehicle from the rear; or
      (iii) intimating any intended change of speed or direction of a vehicle, and the use of any such appliance, and for securing that any such appliance is efficient and kept in proper working order;

      58. a person who –
      (a) contravenes or fails to comply with any regulations made under section 57; or (b) uses on a road a vehicle, trailer or pedal cycle which does not comply with any such regulations or causes or permits a vehicle to be so used, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of twelve months, or to both, and the particulars of the conviction shall be endorsed on his driving record.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’m in the process of developing my own car destructive stinger device for outside my house. The cops seem unable to do anything, and I’m not sure @AustinHarris even knows where Prospect is – he seems as useful as the mole on my backside. The concept is this. 6 inch nails drilled into the road – they automatically pop up out of the ground when people go above 25mph speed limit on my street.

  16. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    When I am King for a week, I will mandate a minimum of 60% RCIPS officers to be on the road, EVERY shift, and most of those stopped and ready to ticket. After dark, a minimum of two officers per car, and staggered police cars such that offenders that pass one car will then pass another; they can also be quick backup for each other.

    On the second day, we will review the criteria by law for a “safe” car, including noise ordinance (Town and Communities Law, tinting, speed, licence not obscured, current registration, etc.) and those things will be enforced.

    On the third day…….

  17. Anonymous says:

    Shamrock rd from spots beach to ocean club people doing 65-80mph regularly…often times racing at 100mph or more and I’ve NEVER seen one pulled over. The speed traps they set down by the roundabout were too far down and they gave up too easy. Cops here are lazy af.

    • Anonymous says:

      Possibly the deadliest part of Cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not doubting the ridiculous speeds, and witness it first hand daily. However, there’s very few places between Spotts beach and Lantern Point in either direction that you can safely stop vehicles. Between the rubber neckers and the terminally unaware, cars pulled over would soon cause more crashes.

      Several more unmarked cars would be good. Record the evidence on video, then pull over and deal with them. Rinse and repeat, all day, all night.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you photo the car and plates and pull them over with a second car by old prospect point.

        Years ago I was on a road trip, spotted one cop sitting in a car for sale at a dealership with the radar gun. One mile down the road…5 marked cruisers pulling over the speeders that the first guy caught. This is not rocket science and it will save lives. The number and cost (both dollars and lives) of traffic accidents in this country is beyond disturbing. There’s no need for it given the tiny size of the island and lack of true highways and highway speed. Moderns cars are very safe and the survivability of most accidents at reasonable speeds is high. ZERO excuse for the number of road deaths we have.

  18. Anonymous says:

    easy money money solution:
    bring in private traffic police who must record all offences via dashcams.
    they can be funded via fines generated and normal cops can concentrate on real police work or we can cut their numbers.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Oh look another story where everyone begs the traffic cops to actually do their job year round and effectively. Great job boys and girls, see ya this time next year for the same Christmas Cracker stats and the same comments from the public.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ther system is broken. From the DVDL, to the RCIPS,to the courts and the legislators. So much needs to change.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The National Roads Authority and the police are just as bad as each other.

    The National Roads Authority does not give one iota about the quality of the roads. Their sole objective is to build roads to line the pockets of their friends. Either by paying them directly as contractors, or by building roads designed to open up their friends’ land for development.

    They do not care about road safety. They do not care about pedestrians or cyclists. Their major project for cyclists was to put down some green stickers right next to manhole covers. There is not one single segregated cycle lane on this whole island. Even the best cycle lanes on the island are just the hard shoulder, where people stop to talk on their phone or use to undertake people when there is traffic.

    How many pedestrians and cyclists need to die on the road before the NRA will actually devote their energy to making halfway decent roads?

    Then there is the police. I was stopped on Christmas Eve – at 5 pm when I was going TO the Christmas party. On my way back at midnight, not a police officer in sight.

    The police need to actually enforce the law. This is how it goes – you break the law a little, and never had any consequences. You break the law a little more, and still no consequences. A little more and still no consequences. Pretty soon you are brazenly speeding, undertaking, racing etc. because you can see that no one ever experiences any consequences for driving so badly.

    There are TWO key components to addressing our bad drivers and our bad roads.

    1. Designing roads well so that people are nudged in the right direction to both drive safely and have spaces to walk and cycle safely. The NRA needs to read the book Nudge which talks about choice architecture and how people can be encouraged to do the right thing by designing the system correctly. There should be proper cycle lanes and proper sidewalks.

    The NRA would like to say that the lack of sidewalks is because of historical fences etc. and all new developments need to have sidewalks but they can’t make older roads have sidewalks. The fact is they can – they choose not too. The gazette roads through the Mastic trail, but they don’t want to gazette a road three feet into someone’s property because that might upset that person. The NRA could put in connected sidewalks across all our ‘urban’ roads but they would rather build roads that make their friends’ rich through making roads to nowhere.

    2. Actually enforcing the law. There is no reason for anyone to follow traffic laws because no one is ever punished for it. You could easily catch 40 people drunk driving PER NIGHT. On a Sunday afternoon on West Bay Road, you could catch 40 people per hour.

    We could easily meet the entire government budget with speeding tickets with a high level of enforcement. I have never seen any police vehicle ticketing people along South Sound Road. People dangerously speed there when there are kids and dogs walking along the road.

    When there was lockdown, I was stopped all over the place during nearly every journey so it certainly is possible.

    Yes, I understand that a high level of enforcement costs a lot of money. It takes a lot of resources. But we would have major benefits both in terms of $$ and in terms of road safety. But as it is, with the lax level of enforcement, why should anyone follow any rules?

    At least the police give an appearance of trying to enforce though, I see nothing similar from the NRA.

  21. Elvis says:

    I just passed the speed indcator by ocean club. One idiot had it flashing at 75 mph in front of me. Absolutely brain dead people simple.

  22. I can only drive in the right hand lane says:

    How about fining all drivers who do not correctly display their front licence plate?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Should read “cops only concerned about hiding in the bush by camana bay to catch people doing 52 mph on a 3 lane highway instead of actual traffic offenses such as failing to indicate on a roundabout”

    • Anon says:

      So true! Always the same cop too. 20 bucks per mph so a 100 fine for doing 50. Meanwhile all their mates are crashing cars and not indicating on roundabouts. Joke

  24. Anonymous says:

    If they’re so concerned, maybe they should post cop cars on the road at key stops throughout the entire year, 12 months a year, not just holiday crackdown.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Maybe RCIP should make this a permanent operation, if they are concerned then start doing it all the time not just at Christmas. The level of driving is getting worse and worse and something serious needs to be done to address it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I do a lot of running – the number of near misses, screeching tyres, no signalling, pointless lane switching/overtaking and speeding is unreal. The majority of offenders I’m sorry to say are Jamaican’s, predominantly in cars that they’ve paid a mate to get an inspection for. I’m not sure their brains have fully matured or developed. We need to start CO2 emissions as a test requirement for cars, I’d say 20% of the cars I see on the road would have to be scrapped.

    The speed cameras are pointless, they’re not a deterrent that’s for sure – highest I’ve seen is 64mph near Vela in South Sound (30mph zone). Double the speed limit should be an instant 12 month disqualification. Proper speed cameras here won’t work either, unless we had a proper postal system (where you actually get your mail) where fines/tickets can be sent to registered owners.

    Mind you when you consider my sons’ driving test involved him driving a DVDL staff member to drop some mangoes off, then you can see the problems everywhere.

    Thinking of running with a Go Pro and becoming a YouTube sensation so I can retire before I get killed on the roads!!

  27. I can only drive in the right hand lane says:

    Static speed cameras or the like, as there are not enough officers to police all the roads all the time.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Everyone knows the drivers here are appalling. People routinely are rude, aggressive and drunk. But what real choice do we have? No real bus service, no bike lanes, no enforcement and no one cares. It will always be problematic and there will never be a real solution.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Start by putting more police patrols on the roads, and then have them actually ticket the offenders! Also more speed traps especially on Shammrock Road!

  30. Say it like it is says:

    11.35am You are right, a lot of drivers here are not just reckless, but plain stupid and or ignorant.I come accross examples many times every day and it is so annoying.250 crashes in 1 month sums it up nicely.

  31. Anonymous says:

    There is no cop presence on the roads. You might see cops randomly only during the holiday season but where are the cars the rest of the year? Is the traffic department still active?

    • Anonymous says:

      Traffic department disbanded by the idiot COP Baines. Not sure if it has been reinstated. Ever since the. The roads have become like Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome.

  32. JMH says:

    Maybe if the police made an effort to enforce safe driving, as opposed to just speed, there might be some noticeable change. Tail-gating, lane hopping, undertaking – all are rife.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’ve seen the police in West Bay doing more radar and check points lately and I even saw an officer ticketing a car for wrongfully parking in a blue disabled space by public beach which was nice to see. So thank you for stepping up enforcement to the RCIPS.

    But more needs to be done. Too many drag racers and dangerous drivers on the road still. It’s a growing problem.

  34. Anonymous says:

    How about: “Cayman residents concerned by another year of full-time off-shift RCIPS Traffic Department”. Especially when they continue to lecture, paradoxically, on seasons of self-administered traffic enforcement failures. Put the coffee down, read the 12 double-spaced brochure that is the Traffic Code, get in the fancy cars we’ve bought you, use the million-dollar radios, and create an effective enforcement deterrent by rewarding failing behaviours with prescribed traffic tickets. Or maybe we need a new CoP that will be willing to effectively staff and delegate prescribed service duties?

  35. Anonymous says:

    The driving is still appalling.. I’ve recently had people tailgating, not waiting their turn at 4-way stops, and overtaking me just so they can get into the roundabout ahead of me.. why the tearing hurry!? I always go the speed limit. Why do they feel the need to be so stupid!? it always seems to be Hondas or people in fancy cars like BMW’s etc… It’s utterly dangerous and stupid. But god knows how they will fix the problem. Maybe a point system on your license like the Uk has. But that probably won’t make much difference as many people are driving illegally without insurance nor drivers license

    • Anonymous says:

      Major speed bumps, everywhere. Speed cameras and an automated ticketing system. Forfeiture and destruction of cars of persistent offenders, or those who fail to pay fines. Traffic-calming tools like reducing bypasses to one lane for a hundred yards or so, so the traffic can only go as fast as the slowest driver. Police out on the roads with speed cameras all day, everywhere. Zero tolerance of bad driving practices, eg fining for failure to indicate. Fixed penalty: prison for drunk drivers.

      Driving a car is not a right. It’s a privilege that needs to be earned and kept.

      First though, there has to be the political and policing will to see such measures introduced. The policing must be constant, relentless and unflagging. It’s no good just bringing it in at Christmas. It must be 365:24:7.

      There are options out there. Always have been. But there is no real determination to do much else than lament about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Traffic-calming tools like reducing bypasses to one lane for a hundred yards or so, so the traffic can only go as fast as the slowest driver.”

        I’d rather go to hell first than do 25 mph from Northside straight to Town on a Saturday.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe they actually do proper driving tests like the UK instead of a quick drive around the block and a pass.

    • Saving up for an MRAP says:

      Sadly I’ve also witnessed all what you’ve mentioned and most of it seems to be a “me first” and “don’t give a s#!t about other drivers” state of mind. Entitled drivers will always do what they want. The police are powerless to stop it. Fines, if they are levied are a pittance and make little difference especially when it only happens during crackdowns. Increase fines and crackdown 24/7/365, hit these idiots where it hurts, it’s the only way now.

      BTW it’s licence not license in your context, proper Engrish preas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Increase the speed limits.

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