More resources going to traffic, says CoP

| 07/12/2021 | 88 Comments
Cayman News Service
RCIPS officers conduct Operation Quaker

(CNS): Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne told politicians during Finance Committee on Tuesday that more police resources are going to be diverted to the traffic unit in 2022 in order to get to grips with the increasingly “erratic and dangerous driving” being seen on the roads.

As politicians on both sides of Parliament questioned him about the significant number of crashes and worrying driving behaviour that is a serious public concern, he revealed that more police will be diverted to deal with road offences next year and that a new satellite traffic unit was going to be set up at the Bodden Town Police station to focus on rogue road users in the eastern districts.

Byrne said the terrible driving, and speeding in particular, needed to be tackled with a multifaceted approach. He said a combination of education, engineering and enforcement was needed to curb the large number of accidents on the country’s roads.

“The issue is multifaceted and multi-pronged. A lot of it has to do with driver behaviour, and driver volumes is another contributing factor. There is a lot of work going on with our traffic enforcement division with some very good results,” the commissioner said, adding that he was stepping that up.

With new recruits currently in training that will graduate in March, he said he would be able to allocate more resources to traffic enforcement next year. “I do see some very erratic and dangerous driving on the roads, which is very concerning,” Byrne said, and outlined plans for Bodden Town’s own traffic unit.

The commissioner told Parliament that next year money would be spent on technology to help with road traffic enforcement, and the RCIPS would continue working with the National Roads Authority to make roads safer. He also noted that there were plans to change the law to reduce the level of alcohol that drivers are permitted to consume before getting into their cars.

He said that over Christmas there would be even more promotion of safe driving and the police would be encouraging people to report bad driving when they see it.

The government has budgeted almost $50 million for policing next year and over $50 million for 2023. In addition, $3.3 million has been set aside each year for the next two years for the coastguard. Almost $10 million has also been allocated for capital projects over the two years.

In total, law enforcement is costing the taxpayer somewhere around CI$116 million over the next 24 months.

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Category: Crime, Government Finance, Police, Politics

Comments (88)

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  1. Say it like it is. says:

    Nobody has mentioned these monster gas guzzling, air polluting, noise polluting, dangerously overloaded, dangerously driven, road damaging vehicles which are now dominating our roads to the detriment of all other road users.There must be many hundreds of them on our roads now, and Govt. needs to declare an immediate ban on the future import of these “dump trucks”, appropriately named as many of them seem to have been rescued from dumps in the U.S.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gas guzzling? Lol. What you gonna take 50 trips in a pickup to haul fill instead? Duh.

      • anon against ignorance says:

        6.42am It’s actually diesel and produces dense black clouds of evil smelling filth, are you happy with that?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jack-braking past the Rcips HQ and overloaded and ditching gravel ball bearings at every roundabout junction, many of those newly-paved at enormous taxpayer expense.

  2. Anonymous says:

    just watched a cop drive up bypass following a car doing about 35 in the outside lane. Don’t either of them know that slow traffic should be in the left lane? NRA really need to put some idiot-proof signs up.

    If the cops don’t even know how to drive – how can they enforce the rules of the road?!

    • Anonymous says:

      People are driving around going 80MPH (and more) and you’re worried about this one driver going 5mph under the limit?

      Who cares? What’s the bloody hurry? Where is it that is so important that you must get there at 40mph and not 35?

      And by the way, the outside (left) lane is the ‘slower’ lane, so that’s exactly where this driver that you describe should have been.

      Feel free to google the difference between inside and outside.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong. The outside lane is the lane on the right and it should be used as an overtaking lane.

        Your google reference is wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        Depends where you’re from. In Canada for example people refer to the inside lane as the closest lane to the centre of the road or ‘fast lane’. In the UK that’s the outside lane. What you call it is irrelevant; in Cayman drive on the left unless overtaking. If you dothat anyone driving faster than you is hardly going to bother you. Driving slowly in the wrong lane is bad driving, it’s not your job to slow everyone else down, move over!

        • Anonymous says:

          Similarly, nobody has the right to go >50mph anywhere in the Cayman Islands, save for EMS vehicles with sirens on. Someone going the speed limit doesn’t have to pull over for an Evil Kneivel wanting to go 85.

      • Anonymous says:

        In the UK the left/slow/curb side is the inside lane. Get in it if you’re doing 35!

        • Anonymous says:

          Let’s just call it the left lane and forget about Brits calling the outside lane causing unnecessary confusion.

      • Anonymous says:

        You might want to google that yourself!

      • Anonymous says:

        Give me some moron doing 80mph past me for one second every time over two of you self righteous numpties driving side by side at 35mph from ALT to the Kimpton.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know where to begin with you. So I won’t waste much energy. Stay off the roads if you don’t know that the left lane is the slow one. Also, please use your google to learn what “left” is. I feel that we need to start with the basics for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Left lane is the outside lane, it is outside of the other lanes.

  3. n says:

    The poor and careless / dangerous driving here is a direct result of many years of a glaring lack of consistent and effective enforcement! And many government drivers / vehicles (including the RCIPS) are doing poorly to even set good examples of driving standards. When last did anyone see the Police doing anything positive about the near total absence of persons indicating at roundabouts? It’s rare even to see them police persons illegally overtaking in the turn lanes at school zones!

    Just STOP with the excuses and be consistent with proper enforcement!

  4. Roundabouts aren't rocket science says:

    Ffs, just make the test harder.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly that will take 30 years to have any effect. Its all the idiots on the road now that shouldn’t have licences that are the problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        Looking through the court docket, many out there in the wild, haven’t bothered to get licensed, or are disqualified, without insurance, or necessary permission to use the vehicle, many of those not being paid up and/or roadworthy. And why not? It’s not like there is a Traffic department to catch them, other than when they are detained at their crash site.

  5. Anon says:

    When I do manage to return to Cayman for a holiday my main concerns are going to be whether I will be shot, stabbed or mown down by a drink/drug driver.

    • Anonymous says:

      If none of those events happen where you currently are, I’d advise you to stay on that planet and avoid this one – we’ve screwed it up enough already.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you should vacation in Jamaica.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah right. Ten bucks says you’re the same person who said the same thing on the other thread and that you’re a resident trying to make a point. Poorly.

  6. Anonymous says:

    >400 full time cops, countless vehicles, bikes, motorcycles, and Atvs, nearly a $1 Bln a year in budget, and Byrne says he needs to “divert” resources to attend to normal core duties like Traffic. At what point do you start recruiting a new CoP?!? Honestly, what kind of scam is this?!?

  7. Anonymous says:

    We have spent so much on the RCIPS budget during Byrne’s mission that I think we should be actively seeking a replacement. It’s the same size as a small NATO-member country. Over a decade now of the same blah blah blah on traffic dereliction.

  8. Bangeeri says:

    all cars bought by expats should have to be a minimum of 5/7 years old. That will take at least 10,000 cars off the roads. Plain and simple. In BVI and Bermuda most aren’t even allowed to drive. Cayman really is too “Caymankind”. that’s why they bad mouth the entire Caymanian population while living the dream. children playing at the beach and walks/jogs wherever they feel. Its time to get a little less “Caymankind” especially with all these old, smog producing cars. Just drive down Marina drive in prospect if you dont believe me.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Need police speed traps on marina drive..they using it for race track…be reminded is a redidential neighborhood…

  10. Anonymous says:

    We need to have everyone doing a road test when their first license is issued just like the learning drivers, no transfers, and everyone redo their road test every 10 years. The roads layouts and traffic loads have changed so much that even I as an experienced driver am unsure what to do at times. The standard of the test needs to brought up by about a mile (in many other countries it’s typical to fail a number of times) and include things such as the correct lane to drive in when there are multiple lanes (drive on the left and pass on the right, THEN GO BACK LEFT), dealing with roundabouts, merging…
    That’s just the driving standard, now put all the lack of enforcement on top for lights (how often do you see the light at Godfrey Nixon and Eastern Ave being run), speeding, dangerous driving, indicators not working (or being used), etc etc. Take a hard line approach with everyone and make driving a PRIVILEGE

    • Anonymous says:

      To be honest you need to switch to a European test and make everyone who hasn’t already taken one do so, including Caymanians. Everything you mention is covered in European tests. That will never happen though.

  11. Bracker says:

    Truly hope this applies to the Brac too!
    Christmas is a crazy time of year here too!
    We need more police here in general💯all through the year!

  12. Anonymous says:

    In the old days, when we had properly educated and trained police, the same officer could investigate a burglary, deal with a domestic dispute, and identify and deal with illegal tint on a windshield. Now we literally witness police vehicles breaking the traffic laws daily and actually see police witnessing infraction (of every kind) and just drive on by. “Not my job” seems to be the refrain. That offense is in a Marine Park, so DOE, not me. That offense is drugs, but I am not in the DTF, not me. That is a white collar crime, and I am not in the Commercial Crime Unit. We did not receive a report and so there is nothing to action … and so on and so on. NOTHING ever gets done. The Police, and more particularly the way they operate ARE the problem. This is a small Island. Rounding up lawbreakers is much easier here than most other places. There is no excuse for the sheer ineffectiveness and ineptitude, especially given what we are paying.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Please enforce the use of headlights between sunset and sunrise. Some of these idiots think they don’t need them because they can still see. The problem is that you can’t see them coming, sometimes at high speed.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Someone needs to do a value for money analysis of the police, coast guard and regiment. Somehow I don’t think we are getting a good deal!

    And let’s face the truth, a lot of the bad driving I see on the roads is being committed by drivers who learned to drive in Jamaica. Maybe we need to stop accepting drivers licensed in Jamaica and require them to retake the road test. There i said it! Queue the comments on how racist and out of order I am.

    Ps I am Jamaican

    • Anonymous says:

      No offence but just curious where you learned to drive, I mean took an examination? Did you take any defensive driving course, since that’s what helped me cope here? I would probably just walk had I not taken any strict formal training. I have driven in more dangerous places for instance Mexico City. But there in some parts of the city you only have inches between vehicles from then converting 3 lanes into 5. Most drivers here would crash and or die within minutes there. If this place had enforcement like Japan 50% of drivers would be banned for life.

  15. Truth says:

    The problem is cultural and can not be fixed without a great deal of actual enforcement and holding those responsible fully accountable. Two things that the current culture is fully against.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The last time they did this the idiots started shooting each other… if ya’ll want them nicking people doing 50 past the dump don’t be surprised when the real criminals kick off elsewhere

    • Anonymous says:

      You can dislike it all you like but watch it happen; if RCIPS are diverting resources onto the roads they are taking them off something else. My guess is most people would rate the “something else” as a more serious crime than speeding.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why can’t they do both? If they were consistent in enforcing all laws we would not be in the predicament we are in now.

    • Anonymous says:

      The real criminals are the ones driving at 50 past the dump. If you bothered to pull them over and allow reasonable suspicion to develop in consequences of your interactions with them you would find the cocaine in the trunk and the gun in the glove box!

  17. Anonymous says:

    What is wrong with using the immigration law as part of reinforcement? Why are foreign offenders not even reported to immigration by the police? Why are prosecutors not asking for the deportation of foreign offenders? Why are foreign offenders released from Northward into the community and allowed to remain for years? I am not suggesting the majority of criminals are foreign. Only that when a foreign national is determined to not be good for Cayman, why the hell do our law enforcers and prosecutors seem so hell bent on helping them to stay?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Start with educating your officers and addressing THEIR appalling driving. Using cell phones, not indicating, speeding, clueless at roundabouts. Leading by example?

    • Anonymous says:

      True say lead by example

    • Royal says:

      Exactly. And cops routinely violate traffic laws too. I constantly see them run stop signs, fail to indicate turns and lane changes. That’s when they’re in patrol cars, imagine them in their personal vehicles.

  19. Anonymous says:

    JUST ENFORCE ALL TRAFFIC LAWS! I see them speeding every day on the bypass. 6:45am. Go to any road at that time. Any!!!!

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      … enforcement needs to be 24/7/365 not just on special occasions or to make it look like something is being done after a horrible crash. It should start today not sometime next year.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Fixing the public transport will go along way to help with these issues. Especially drink driving

  21. Anonymous says:

    Start the roadblocks at 5:30am.

    In a week, traffic loads will fall by 40% and many of the tourism stipend recipients will run the public bus route, fully loaded.

    By the way, accidents will fall by 80% at the same time.

  22. Anon says:

    RCIPS are useless. It is their job, and only their job to enforce the law. Yet DUI is still endemic as are accidents.

    I am sich and tired of hearing the education mantra. Tgey’ve been going on about it for 2 years while the bodies stack up.


  23. Anonymous says:

    I think Byrne is doing a great job. But there needs to be a better system here. Clean up the corruption internally first. Then externally. Then we will be better off. The police just watch traffic crime happen all the time. They just dont do anything about it. Seen it daily almost.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do the Camana Bay security come running to ask questions when there is an accident on the highway or roundabout? They appear to have jurisdiction there and if so why? Is this the reason why police are not seen there catching drivers making serious accidents or bad driving in general and prosecuting them. Some vehicles including the heavy ones actually speed up at roundabouts instead of slowing down. RCIPS would make a mint if they just posted officers there to ticket persons who don’t indicate or slow down when approaching roundabouts. And why is the Camana Bay roundabout designed with no clear visual line of sight across compared to other roundabouts?

  24. Anonymous says:

    If the RCIP want more money they should do what those of us that are paying them do. Earn it! It’s not like they don’t have an opportunity to collect millions in fines if only they effectively and consistently enforced the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do the Camana Bay security come running to ask questions when there is an accident on the highway or roundabout? They appear to have jurisdiction there and if so why? Is this the reason why police are not seen there catching drivers making serious accidents or bad driving in general and prosecuting them. Some vehicles including the heavy ones actually speed up at roundabouts instead of slowing down. RCIPS would make a mint if they just posted officers there to ticket persons who don’t indicate or slow down when approaching roundabouts. And why is the Camana Bay roundabout designed with no clear visual line of sight across compared to other roundabouts?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Make every caymanian take a European / up standard driving test! It’s not the European expats causing the problems, it’s the locals who can’t drive. Bam the caymanians from the road until they pass an appropriate test. The governor should pass emergency powers to introduce us driving tests if necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you tell the difference between a Caymanian, a Jamaican, and a Honduran? You seem confused.

      I agree with you about European driving standards though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians should “Bam’ you for such a poor comment, lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol because everything is sooo much better that why you are here gremaldi???

  26. Drunk drivers not good says:

    Woow he tells parliament that they are going to change the level for DUI not askimg. Singing same old story otherwise.

  27. Anonymous says:

    $1560 per resident over 24 months.

    Clown world

  28. Anonymous says:

    free money making solution:
    bring in private run traffic police who are funded by fines.
    cig will makes 10x times as much on fines.
    police can then do real work or we can reduce their numbers.

  29. n says:

    Long overdue! Consistent enforcement is sorely lacking….and is the best type of education when it comes to illegal, erratic rogue drivers.

    Oh, and while I was in a line of traffic this afternoon doing 45mph, a NRA dump truck flew past us doing about 55 in a 40 on Spotts straight.

    • Perplexed. says:

      So you were breaking the law, but he was breaking the law more than you. Is that your point? Numpty.

  30. Anonymous says:

    A handful of strategically placed speed cameras along with automated ticketing system would likely do wonders to curb the dangerous driving and save lives. Preferably the cameras that measure average speed.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Farcical. It does not take more money or engineering or education to enforce the law. It just needs honest hardworking impartial police. Damn them. They are a joke, demanding more money from us every time it gets to breaking point and we identify they are not doing their job. FFS! Enough!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. If their budget was tied to a certain percentage by earning traffic fines they would be forced to do their job at certain roundabouts, and junctions. It’s not rocket science to where the majority of violations can be seen, yet police are rarely there.

  32. Anonymous says:

    A handful of strategically placed speed cameras would do wonders to curb the dangerous driving and save lives. Preferably the ones that measure average speed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Average speed cameras here wouldn’t work. The roads are too short, with lots of entrances and exits. Plus, explaining to stupid people what average means is beyond the realms of a sane person.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The RCIPS once had a functioning traffic unit. Can the CoP please explain what happened to that unit. It will not take a significant amount of resources to get things under control.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Always minimizing the need for enforcement. Going to do better next year..blah blah. The roads have been crazy all year and he did nothing about it that anyone could see. I though he looked like a crime fighter when he arrived. Wrong! Time to send him home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that the Cayman answer for everything? We couldn’t find one of our own to fix it and we never did put the effort in to fix it, but its his fault so send him home. Lame excuse for and a scape goat for your own home grown corruption. Cayman has an issue with pettiness. Like most problems it starts at the top. Vote better government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm, our police are independent of our elected government, and the civil service.

        • Anonymous says:

          Your police are managed independently but they are reliant on the government for their funding and budget – so they are NOT independent. And if you want to see things done better then tell your government to increase funding to properly man and equip the service.

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