CIG seeks shift in driving culture to end road deaths

| 22/11/2023 | 113 Comments
Emergency services at the scene of a crash

(CNS): With tens of thousands of cars being imported into the Cayman Islands every year and a rapidly growing population driving around on an inadequate network, Cayman’s roads have become increasingly dangerous. As a result, the government has launched a National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) with the aim of eliminating serious crashes within the next 15 years. So far this year, nine people have been killed on the roads, and police are reporting an average of more than 60 collisions every week.

Road fatalities and serious injuries are as a result of a number of factors, from the volume of traffic on local roads to the number of drivers from many different countries where standards, road rules and layouts all differ significantly.

The campaign, ‘Safe Roads, Safe Cayman, The Road to Zero’, is a cross-government project led by the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure (PAHI) in partnership with the police, the National Roads Authority (NRA) and the Department of Vehicle and Driver’s Licensing (DVDL). The goal is to end road fatalities and serious injuries by 2038 through targeted initiatives to transform the local road safety culture, infrastructure, and enforcement mechanisms. Officials are hoping that specific targetted campaigns against texting and speeding will help people concentrate on safety.

“The NRSS is our pledge to the people of the Cayman Islands,” said the minister responsible for roads, Jay Ebanks. “It is a comprehensive approach that prioritises life and the safety of every individual on our roads. Every step we take from now on is a step towards a future where road accidents no longer claim the lives of our residents and visitors.”

The campaign includes driver education, improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, upgrading road infrastructure, and leveraging technology for better enforcement. It also emphasises the importance of community engagement to create the culture of road safety. Initiatives aim to reduce high-risk behaviour and promote safe driving, encourage shared responsibility among road users, law enforcement and local organisations, and investing in smart infrastructure and technology to anticipate and prevent road safety challenges.

Police Commissioner Kurt Walton asked, “What if we reduced our speeds on the roads? This simple change could be the key to safeguarding lives. The National Road Safety Strategy is about turning these ‘what ifs’ into concrete actions for the benefit of our entire community.”

DVDL Director David Dixon said, “Ensuring that vehicles and drivers meet the highest safety standards is fundamental to the NRSS. The DVDL is at the forefront, enhancing our licensing and inspection processes.”

The road network is also an important element of road safety, and NRA Managing Director Edward Howard said the authority was dedicated to creating roadways that are not only efficient but inherently safe. “We’re investing in smart infrastructure that looks ahead to the needs of future generations,” he added.

PAHI Chief Officer Eric Bush said there was a collective resolve to tackle the issue of road safety head-on. “It is about changing mindsets, altering behaviours, and making ‘safety’ an intrinsic part of our culture,” he said. “What if the solution is truly as simple as that?”

Offcials said the success of this strategy is contingent upon the collective effort and shared responsibility of the entire community.

See the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) here.


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Comments (113)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Far too many LHD cars on island! Should be a ban or regulation on them. They cause accidents due to restricted view in RHD traffic. It may be more expensive to get RHD but what costs more? An accident or fatality due to lack of visibility or a correct hand drive car?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Police Commissioner should lead from the front and mandate all RCIPS officers to take the written and road test.

  3. Anonymous says:

    According to the data Norway has officially earned the title of the safest place to drive in the world, with only 1.5 traffic-related fatalities per 100,000 people.

    Why no one is interested to find out how do they do that?

    Bermuda has excellent public transportation.
    Why no one is interested to find out how did they do that?

    Finland is leading in public education.
    Why no one is interested to find out how do they do that?

    Are Caymanians inherently dumb? Nothing works here.

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    • Twitterology 101 says:

      Are Caymanians the ones who actually own and operate the rcips? Go ask the governor.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Norwegians drive half the year on packed snow and ice. Their driving skills are unbelievable.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If we all decided to ride bicycles and walk, then there would be no road deaths from accidents, but probably quite a few from heat stroke. Trying to reduce the number of road accidents to zero is foolish, as there will always be idiots that don’t obey the rules. What country in the world has zero road fatalities?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Only a few weeks ago many posters were fawning over our new CoP. Got to say I’m not impressed. This would be utterly laughable if people didn’t keep dying. The root cause of our atrocious accident stats is very obvious on day one to everyone who has ever taken a real driving test and driven for any length of time in Europe. We give driving licenses to thousands of people who simply can’t operate a vehicle safely and shouldn’t have them. It’s not difficult. Adopt the UK test and standards.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    ‘Offcials said the success of this strategy is contingent upon the collective effort and shared responsibility of the entire community‘

    My 2 cents in ‘The New Cayman’, it’s already failed then 😔

  7. Anonymous says:

    ‘Police Commissioner Kurt Walton asked, “What if we reduced our speeds on the roads? This simple change could be the key to safeguarding lives.’

    Isn’t part of chasing the 100,000 Utopia being able to create an equilibrium between population, revenue and facilities, ? – surely it’s time to build a motorsports park 🤷🏻‍♀️🏎️🏍️🏁

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  8. Anonymous says:

    If you want to change the driving culture, set the driving standard to match UK requirements, for starters.

    Then, have cops pull over reckless drivers on the spot, and deal with them accordingly. I see police in patrol cars daily, who totally ignore (and accept) inconsiderate and illegal driving habits, such as weaving dangerously at speed with no indicators; driving and eating, texting, applying make-up; loud/modified and unroadworthy cars; improper use of roundabouts; stopping to chat to a buddy and holding up traffic…..that’s just the beginning!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Saw a police officer with radar on the bypass this morning. Zapping cars backed up in traffic…. What a waste of time and resources.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I am normally dismayed by the negative comments but for once it is 100% warranted and I hope the RCIPS, NRA and Ministry read every one of these disparaging comments.

    This ill conceived campaign is an embarrassment to all involved and to the entire country. The “goal” of eliminating deaths by 2038 is beyond laughable, it is somehow both unattainable and absurdly unambitious at the same time. The idea that a public awareness campaign is a serious solution is flatly preposterous. A clear indication that no one in the room is capable of analysis, good judgement, research or problem solving.

    SOMEONE should have stopped this from ever seeing the light of day.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Way to do nothing again RCIPS. JUST BE ON THE ROADS ALL THE TIME AND TICKET! Just 5-7 am you could get 100s of tickets.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Stop allowing expats to own/drive vehicles as soon as the Island gets a trolley or monorail system up powered by the waste to energy plant that must be re-tendered instead of the shady Progressive deal they tried to hoodwink Cayman with to line their dirty pockets.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    By 2038? Nice…so around 145 dead and something like 45,000 accidents/collisions, this seems acceptable.

    Here’s a solution – CIG/RCIPS are never fixing this, just look at how the taxi lobby and car dealerships lobby to protect their industries, and here ae are. So, why not empower a private enterprise to enforce the speed limits, 24/7. Let the private enterprise take on the expense of staffing/equipping all the speedsters roads all day long, and let them keep the fines in return. Anyone caught on camera speeding loses their licence for a year.

    it’ll work.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No it won’t. It’s not all about speed. It’s not even mostly about speed. Half the “drivers” on our road SHOULD NOT HAVE A DRIVING LICENSE AT ALL. We already have some of the lowest speed limits in the world and, 3rd world aside, the worst accident rate.

      Secondly, giving “private enterprise” the power to fine people just SCREAMS potential for fraud, corruption and abuse. You have got to be kidding me.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, horrible drivers, but if you add horrible drivers with excessive speed that equals deadly accidents. The police should be enforcing the speed 24/7. That would deter some of the speedsters, not all, but many. The key really is having a proper police presence. For crime, for traffic issues, and they need to get out of the car!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Passive Radar boosts municipal revenue, but it doesn’t keep people from drinking, texting on their phones, staying in their lane, using indicators, or from intruding into the shoulder/sidewalk. It doesn’t find illegal tint, unroadworthy vehicles/trailers, dangerous loads, loose tailgate passengers, missing lights, plates/registration/license. It doesn’t apprehend criminals escaping crimes they just committed. It doesn’t recover these gang rented guns, machetes, cow cods, and whatever else. It doesn’t make our opportunistic criminals think twice. Only a large visible road presence, demonstrating their eyes are open can do that. Just a small effort would help restore decades of squandered confidence that this is still a safe place to visit, reside, hold assets, and justify long term life plans. We need to want to reign it all in.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    We crash at a rate almost 10 times worse than Europe. We have a pathetically easy test, accept licenses from countries where you can buy one for less than a tank of gas and have zero enforcement of any kind of dangerous driving beyond speed. It’s really not difficult. Why do RCIPS refuse to see the elephant in the room?

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    • Anonymous says:

      LHD cars decrease visibility and make it harder to see. Along with poor driving habits like lack of indicating, that’s one of the reasons why.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So here is an easy one
    Headlights
    LHD and RHD have the headlights set up different.
    RHD ones aim more left and LHD ones aim more right.
    The LHD ones blind on-coming drivers.
    Make a proper headlamp test part of the roadworthy like in normal countries. It’s not hard and would stop cars blinding others at night. Its also easy to adjust a LHD to RHD in minutes with no parts required.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It used to be part of the annual inspection. It seems to have been dropped, like so many other sensible things.

      I agree with you completely, it’s awful to be consistently blinded at night by headlights that have not been correctly adjusted.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It still doesn’t account for…

      Idiots driving at night with just foglights, which looks ‘cool’ but unfortunately doesn’t project light as needed.

      Idiots driving with foglights (front and back quite often with BMW and Audi fools) in addition to their actual headlights. We have zero fog, and they’re often misaligned.

      Idiots with red/blue/green etc lights at the front. LED lights flashing and cycling through the rainbow. FFS, it’s not hard. Light should be white or yellow at the front, red at the back. Indicators are red or orange. That’s it. It’s the law.

      Common or garden idiots who just drive with high beams on all the time.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just switch to LHD. Paying an unnecessary premium to bring in RHD cars from Timbuktu when millions are manufactured just up the road in NAFTA.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with that except the part about it being easy to reset LHD to RHD lights. Some cars might be but many certainly are not and require different lights, if they are even available. Many LHD cars, from the US in particular, are not available in RHD countries so neither are the lights.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Its even easier than that. Do what they do in France and Europe which is take your car off you if you don’t attach some stickers to the headlamps to deflect it when you cross the Channel.

      Its disgusting how dumb this island can be in the face of simple solutions for so many things.

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  16. Elvis says:

    Within how long? You gotta be kidding me right? 15 years😂😂😂.
    So basically they are going to do nothing as this will soon be swept under the to do list carpet with everything else.

    Its a circus

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I can’t imagine how they set a goal to change driving culture but still can’t put together a half decent bus system with a basic schedule.

    You need to give people a viable alternative before you try and change the culture. If you put together a decent public transportation system tomorrow, you’d still need another decade to get people to use it and trust it.

    Want short term change? Make Uber / Lyft legal for any Caymanian with a valid license and commercial insurance. Better yet, take some of that surplus and subsidize that insurance for unemployed Caymanians. Take the incentives away to drive (forget drive intoxicated) and less people will end up on the roads.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    People should be ticketed for going 20/30 in a 40/50 miles zone. There needs to be 60 mls zones now and make a 40’s, 50’s. Whats the point of having highways if people are going to creep on them. 2 cars side by side doing 30 mls, most annoying daily occurrence in Cayman

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  19. Anonymous says:

    It probably will be zero road deaths by 2038 because Cayman will likely be underwater by then if the current climate trends continue.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    The very fact that this is a 15 YEAR goal is just incredible. If we are truly serious about making significant progress in road safety the target would be 15 MONTHS. Based on the road fatalities in the past few years (I think it is about 40 in the past three years), we could have another 150 to 200 deaths over the next 15 years. How incredibly tragic… and so unnecessary. And that doesn’t even factor in the amount of people who suffer life-changing injuries and all the people affected and productivity lost by road closures due to crashes. We can do so much better.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    The worse you create conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, the more you force people to get behind the wheel of a car and thereby provoke traffic jams.

    The question of transport is a question of mathematics and geometry. These (see below) sciences do not care what your culture or climate is because these are objective indicators.

    In general, mathematicians and economists have long proved that the more roads you make, you actually get more cars and even more traffic jams.

    The Pigou-Knight-Downs paradox states that expanding road capacity does not reduce travel cost because traffic may simply shift to the upgraded road from other roads, which increases the congestion of the upgraded road.

    The Downs-Thomson Paradox https://blogs.cornell.edu/info2040/2021/09/22/traffic-in-cities-the-downs-thomson-paradox/ that traffic will increase without limit until the option of public transport (or any other form of transport) becomes faster than the equivalent trip by car.

    Dietrich Braess’s paradox is the observation that adding one or more roads to a road network can slow down overall traffic flow through it. 

    Lewis-Mogridge postulates that as more roads are built, more traffic consequently fills these roads. Speed gains from some new roads can disappear within months, if not weeks. Sometimes, new roads help to reduce traffic jams, but, in most cases, the congestion is only shifted to another junction.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    oh goody 15 years!!! — soon come

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Having taken 25 minutes yesterday to travel half a mile, WHY DON’T WE JUST HAVE SOME DECENT PUBLIC TRANSPORT YOU NUMBNUTS!

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Want to see Police do their jobs ? Give them a percentage of the tickets they issue.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They already do, it’s a main source of their salaries

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    • Anonymous says:

      Want the public to get thousands of made up tickets for doing nothing wrong? Give them a percentage of the tickets they issue.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I highly doubt that will happen at the ludicrous amount you think it will. Not to mention you can easily prove a cop lied by having a dash cam. Then that cop is fired and jailed.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    3 strikes and your car is confiscated..

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  26. Anonymous says:

    LOL. LMAO. WTAF? Acronyms fail me. This is like saying you’re going to quit smoking by 2038. Instead of eliminating by 2038 how about cutting by 10% by 2024?

    An awareness campaign??? Are you serious? This article makes me want to give up on government altogether.

    How about speed cameras, fines, endorsements and bans? (ie actual solutions)

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    • Anonymous says:

      So we’re just going to ignore the fact that half-hearted drivers on our roads can’t drive safely at any speed?

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      • Anonymous says:

        1000 likes! Imagine someone not being able to manage a vehicle at 40mph so they do 25mph instead. There could be two reasons for this. The person is unfit to handle a motor vehicle, or the vehicle is unfit to be on the road. Bald tires on a wet road will cause you to slow down significantly also as the vehicle will not have the necessary traction to travel at the speed limit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Uh no, they get fined, their licensed endorsed and banned.

  27. Anonymous says:

    zzzzzzz

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  28. Donna says:

    There is only one solution that I can think of to reduce speeding…silent policemen. Yep, speed bumps island wide like those in Websters Estates or at BOB downtown. The speeding is NOT going to stop folks. The number of cars on our roads is not going to change. Human behaviour on this scale will not change. Can I get an amen on speed bumps…and, I am not kidding. It will do the job to slow everybody down!

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    • Anonymous says:

      It works to some degree, but not completely ideal. We have some speedbumps in our area, and the cars do slow down, but then they rev the engine and speed up until they get to the next one. So now there is the speeding… and noise pollution.

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      • Anonymous says:

        They put one outside my house on Mangrove last year and I totally agree. Worse still are the idiots in trucks driving over them like they ain’t there, and the loud bangs from that are even worse.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Continuing to do nothing is the best policy. By 2025, which is really just one year from now, with the amount of cars on the road nobody will be able to attain speeds over 10MPH. No more speeding deaths. Problem solved.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    DVDL and NRA joining forces is akin to Hitler and Putin getting together to chat about human rights.

    DVDL enable this carnage with some of the most lax standards to attain to be unleashed on these roads. The NRA with their inability to lay out road cones safely, build roads with a suitable camber, decent drainage, signage that makes sense etc etc.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I ❤️Putin.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Take your car to a Jamaican run garage and literally get away with anything; illegal tint, illegal mods, bald tyres, all colour lights on your car inspection. Just like careless Jamaican drivers whom I wouldn’t even trust to drive a wheelbarrow get away with murder on our roads in the face of their Jamaican brethren traffic cops.

      If Walton wants to make an easy start, start monitoring and heavily fining garages who do these bly inspections. Shut them down if they don’t comply.

      Easy fixes but the Jamaican element is not conducive to compliance.

  31. Anonymous says:

    How about we start enforcing traffic laws…

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about not allowing Jamaican, Truck, bus, taxi and car drivers to use our roads as if they’re still in lawless Jamaica.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And increase fines to bank account bleeding levels with stiffer licence suspension/revocation penalties. Anyone with more than 3 infractions within a year needs to retake a driving test, a real one like the UK one. The idiot drivers need to straighten up and be held accountable or be removed from the road completely.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about we have decent driving tests and vehicle inspections? We’re still in the 80s.

  32. Anonymous says:

    ”What if we reduced our speeds on the roads?”
    If police are not visible on the roads, enforcing & discouraging speeding, then the same rate of people will still die in those situations, because they are already speeding above what the speed limits are now. All lowering the limits will do is make those people who follow the law go even slower.
    If you are asking the people speeding to slow down… well yeah, good luck with that, they have no consequences to their actions legally as they are rarely ticketed. Plus they dont think “that wreck”‘ will ever happen to them.
    Without continual and proper enforcement of the laws, not just “special operations” at Christmas, nothing will get better.

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    • Mumbichi says:

      Agree. Driving around in RCIPS vehicles which are lit up blue at night was suppose to slow people down, except that all it means is that we can all see them coming from a mile away. Put a fork in that strategy, and please go back to strategic stakeouts. Like near all dangerous bars an hour before closing, how about that?

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  33. Anonymous says:

    These people will do everything except regulate taxi prices and introduce legitimate public transit…

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  34. Anonymous says:

    What if .. the light pole incident involving a certain politician had been prosecuted?

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  35. Anonymous says:

    8 years past the publication of the 2015 NRA Road Plan, and still very little passable connective bicycle infrastructure exists, and none of it protected from vehicular intrusion. New roads are being built and painted without the necessary required provisions for bicycle transport. Transforming years of indifference should be the focus of this years NICE program. Paint and stencil the main thoroughfares at least.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bike lanes would work anywhere else but not Cayman. Even if roads were able to be widened, bike lanes protected from motorized traffic, you’ve still got the 3rd world cycling mentality. Cycling the wrong way or the wrong side of the road are our biggest failings.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    Enforce the shift RCIP! We do not employ you to educate. We employ you to detect and enforce.

    And while you are at it – tell us, what culture are your referencing? Where do these miscreant drivers tend to be from? I have my perceptions, but you have the data!

    Is it time to curtail the number of Canadian work permit holders given their tendency to be a danger to other road users, or does the problem largely exist in other demographics? Please let us know.

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    • Anonymous says:

      nationality isn’t something necessarily collected. It could be figured out, but a report will only take the license number.

      I mean, you could look at the nationalities of those who are deceased and were at fault, that would give you a decent idea of where to look.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Yawn!

    Fix the damn dump!

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  38. Anonymous says:

    When is he going to do something to improve the situation at the Hurleys RAB like he promised

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  39. Anonymous says:

    All hot air. They talk and talk and talk. Until they flood the roads with cops and keep them there in all weathers, and adopt a zero tolerance approach to every single traffic infringement, including overly tinted windows and failure to display number plates front and rear (both easy initial catches), nothing will change and deaths will remain at epidemic levels.

    I drove from West Bay to Prospect on Sunday afternoon, amid the most atrocious speeding all around me, and saw not one police car. What the **** is going on?!

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  40. Traffic man says:

    Instead of making the roads wider, make them more narrow to force people to drive slower.
    Make the roundabouts smaller to again, force people to drive slower and pay closer attention.
    Create dedicated bus lanes so that there is a faster option to driving a car. People will take the bus if it is quick, easy to pay for, frequent, safe and reliable.
    Road design, too many cars and a lack of public transportation options are the issue here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re Caymanian, please leave, and if you’re not, then you know what to do.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Drive from the airport to east end during the day, and tell me how you feel about facing speeding trucks that only loosely stay on their side of the road. Narrow roads don’t slow people down, unfortunately, the roads just become more dangerous.

      • Traffic man says:

        The vast majority of car accidents in cayman happen by roundabouts and the straights. Narrow roads do slow down traffic. It’s a practice that is used all over the world. It’s called traffic calming. Look it up.

  41. Anonymous says:

    The RCIPS Traffic Unit, which for decades the public has pleaded to be staffed properly to enforce our leaflet of traffic laws, respond to accidents, quell the surge in opportunistic community crime, ritual DUI, and surging violence, has been allocated just 20 officers, working in shifts, more or less as insurance adjusters, arriving on scene quarter hours past the event. Brace for annual Purple Ribbon press releases from a disappointed RCIPS.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    Reducing speed limits does nothing but punish the people that obey the law. Get the a$$hole drivers off the road…

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  43. Un-Fit says:

    The era of the disposable car. If we can’t properly regulate fishing from the shoreline it is unlikely we can change the Wild West driving culture.

    Back in the 90s, I asked a famous politician and then Leader of Govt Business what his government intended to do about the second hand cars flooding in from Japan. His very words were “We can’t do anything about them. That would upset the car dealers.”

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  44. Anonymous says:

    A very simple solution to reduce traffic is staggered work times, more flexible work times and more work from home. Also consider banning heavy trucks with stupid jake brakes from 0700-0900. Stop more of these boy racers in their modified Hondas and their loud exhausts. Oh and more police presence on the roads might just help a little. One immediate aid to increasing road safety is to stop accepting Jamaican licenses. Everyone knows these can be bought in Jamaica

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    • Anonymous says:

      Now a days you see modified Hondas few and far in between. It’s the new(ish) vehicles that are doing most of the reckless driving.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We suggested this during COVID. CIG promised their workers could work from home. None of it happened then so why would they do it now? For the record, completely agree with you it’s not rocket science.

    • Anonymous says:

      The traffic is horrendous at all times these days.
      Too many damn people is the problem and most of them we don’t want here.

  45. IS says:

    Please bring in a driving test for all new arrivals before giving out licenses. Theory test is not sufficient.

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Spend 5 minutes watching that speed sign in front of Snug Harbor…20, 30 mph over… 70mph on a narrow highway with a blind entrance and people walking all about. Where is the enforcement?

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  47. Anonymous says:

    Man, it is amazing the lengths RCIP will go through to not do their jobs…

    Here is an idea, how about instead of your officers driving around and ignoring the obvious infractions they see everyday like peopled using roundabout incorrectly, not using turn signals and excessive speeding… they pull them over?

    I was stuck behind a patrol car this morning and watched as he

    1) ignored a person not indicating and using the wrong exit on the CUC round about,

    2) Ignore the Mercedes that swerved in and out of lanes with no indicator to get around him

    3) Ignore the smoke belching grab truck with no license plate who I had to change lanes to get away from because he was basically generating a smoke screen.

    Like really my man? are they lazy, incompetent, under trained, all of the above? RCIP needs to accept that they have a problem before anything can be done to fix it.

    I’m pretty sure we could double CIG’s surplus if we just stuck a cop on each major roundabout for a week and had them actually ticket people who break the law.

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  48. Anonymous says:

    CIG first needs to go back to the old system where you had to have your vehicle inspected at DVDL not at a third party. It is clear by the state of vehicles on the road that the third party certification of road worthiness is a joke. At a minimum all heavy vehicles should be required to be inspected by DVDL only.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s add vehicles over 7 years old to that. Lets face it, new vehicles should be in top condition for at least the first three years. The problem is the older cars that you can see should not have passed inspection.

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