CIG puts faith in pledge but stats reveal the real problem

| 02/04/2024 | 48 Comments
Scene of crash on Cayman’s roads (file photo from social media)

(CNS): Since 2020, the number of licensed drivers on Cayman’s road has increased from 53,779 to 62,798. With 9,000 more drivers on the roads that were already frequently gridlocked before the pandemic, and active vehicle registrations now numbering over 50,000, crashes increased from 2,167 in 2020 to 3,196 by the end of 2023, when nine people died on the roads and 22 were seriously injured.

But with no sign of any measures to deal with traffic congestion, such as a comprehensive public transport plan, school buses for private schools and incentives for staggered work hours, the government is hoping to reduce collisions by persuading drivers to take a pledge.

Drivers in the Cayman Islands hail from over a hundred countries that have different rules of the road and standards, creating challenges as drivers come to terms with local rules. But it is the sheer volume of cars on the roads, especially during rush hour, which is now the fundamental problem that needs to be addressed.

The RCIPS continues to prosecute traffic offences and more than 10,700 road transgressions were recorded last year compared to 7,651 in 2020. Speeding violations increased by almost 700 cases in 2023 when compared to 2020. Traffic issues are no longer confined to Grand Cayman, where it is now undermining everyone’s quality of life; crashes are also increasing on Cayman Brac.

But even though the statistics make it clear that government needs to focus on the volume of traffic as the prevailing issue, it is currently putting all its energy into a road safety campaign and asking drivers to take a pledge.

“The statistics paint a stark picture: as the Cayman Islands grow, so does the responsibility of each driver,” officials said in a press release over Easter as they promoted the police crackdown over the holidays. “The rising trend in road accidents and traffic violations is a call to action for every member of our community.”

National Road Safety Committee Chairperson Eric Bush, who is also the chief officer in the infrastructure ministrys, said the police were doing their part and that thousands of traffic offences had been detected and prosecuted.

“However, as we face these challenges, it’s clear that the solution does not lie with the police force alone,” he said. “The NRSC is committed to implementing high-level legislation and stricter enforcement measures. Nevertheless, the core of our strategy is community involvement. We are at a critical juncture where the actions of every individual on the road can save lives. It’s not just about avoiding fines or penalties; it’s about protecting our loved ones and ensuring the safety of our community.”

Bush said it was up to the near 63,000 registered drivers as well as families, friends and neighbours, to stop the surge in collisions.

“Everyone needs to realise every action counts, from obeying speed limits to putting down our phones while driving… Every one of us holds the power to make our roads safer. It starts with a simple pledge — your pledge — to drive responsibly,” he said as he once again urged people to become part of the pledge initiative.

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Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    ya see too much forigners

  2. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of stats. Could the RCIPS please let us know how many persons in the last 3 years have crashed into light poles and not been breathalyzed?


  3. Anonymous says:

    Guessing Dwayne will be at the front of the queue for pledging ….

  4. anon says:

    How may “temporary” number plates have been issued and how long will “temporary” be, and how many vehicles still have their ORIGINAL plates!.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We live in a time when we must immediately recognise, and call out BS when we hear it. We have a duty to make an example of the full-time useless that are earnestly offering these empty alternate proposals to what we all know should be meaningful deterrence via the action of law enforcement. There is no wishful alternative to the task of writing books and books of tickets, until people change their behaviour. Eric Bush should be properly demoted or fired in acknowledgement and recognition of his latest gambit. We don’t need this kind of obstruction. It’s not a public service.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If only 26% of local high school graduates meet the targets set for math and english literacy, then good luck with driving competence. Welcome to the Caribbean.

    CNS: You misread that article. The 26% refers to primary students, not high school graduates. English comprehension.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh myy, CNS… What a bounce!

      Looks like @1:47 missed the literacy target.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Police are not doing their part though. Sitting on the side of the road during rush hour traffic issuing tickets for tint and expired tags is just generating cash for government, not solving road safety issues. The laziness and unwillingness of government to address the key fundamental issues is what is continuing to cause problems and yet again, asking for a “pledge” is just another example of this.

    – Control the cost a taxi fares.
    – Implement scheduled/government run public transport which will act a cash generator.
    – Move non customer facing government departments out of town to eastern districts and stagger their work hours.
    – Install speed cameras.
    – Station police outside nightclubs and bars at 2am and block parking lot exits for DUI checkpoints and not sit on South Sound at 7:30am
    – Introduce a penalty points system which will result in loss of license after so many traffic violations.

    All very doable option, but they see a “pledge” as the easiest route apparently.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Putting ‘faith’ in a pledge is not governance in any way shape or form, it is a cop out.

  9. Anon says:

    it would be interesting to also know how many rental cars are availble to tourists, further expanding these already shocking numbers!

    • Anonymous says:

      What would be even more interesting is if they would ever put up the statistics of nationality of those who cause the most accidents and have the most cars. But they won’t. It would be as Bush has said “culturally insensitive”. So yes. Just blame it on expats. We understand.

      • Anonymous says:

        We already know the nationality of those killed in single vehicle accidents and in at least the last 5 years that I can recall, the roughly 50 dead have all been Caymanian and Jamaican with, I beleive, 1 Filipino exception.

  10. Anonymous says:

    ‘’Community involvement” is idle, namby pamby bollocks, Mr Bush. Forget that and crack down hard. People are dying.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Here’s another idea: give the courts discretion to cancel the work permit of any permit holder committing a traffic offense, depending on its severity. And make it a mandatory sentence for dangerous and/or careless driving leading to a collision and/or drink/drug driving.

    I know, I know, it’s draconian and it targets expatriates. But we need draconian measures and it might just reduce traffic offenses by half. We don’t want these heedless cretins on our island, and we can hardly transport Caymanians off it.

  12. Truth says:

    Law enforcement and road safety is as good as it will ever get under Caymanian self rule. In five years or less you will look back on now as the good ole days when there was only 50 accidents a week.

    • Anonymous says:

      Law enforcement is under the Governor’s direct command. There is enough to blame on Caymanians already without attributing immigrants’ (intentional?) failures to them as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        So blame the Governor for hiring mostly Caymanian and Jamaican officers? Good one.

      • anon says:

        Nonsense – his mandate is never to interfoere in the local running of Govt unless there are major prblems such as endemic corruption as occurred in Turks and Caicos. So far our P.M’s have not been arrested for drug smuggling.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s an easy fix for CIG if they really wanted to but they don’t. They’d lose all those bus/taxi driver wotes.
    1. Make ALL non-UK licence holders do a UK driving test. You would decimate the driving population by 1/3 at least.

    2. Get a proper bus service organised. One that runs 24hr to accommodate shift workers.
    Smaller islands than this can do it.

    3. Forget fines and introduce a points system and ban fools from the road. Currently UK is caught twice with your cell phone and you’re off the road for a year. And then make them sit a test again.

    But all this is in the too difficult box for CIG. There is thought, strategy, resilience and proper administration to be done. So suck it up buttercups.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed 2.30…but all that takes effort, which means work, which means it ain’t going to happen.
      Eric Bush enjoys salary and work load just as it is, so no need to rock the boat.

  14. sounds like another “talk-force” will be formed!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    yep a pretend nothing pledge sure beats actually doing something …
    another glorious day for cig and civil service?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of Mac’s prayer morning on la steps to combat gang violence.
    welcome to wonderland

  17. Anonymous says:

    in Cayman Is. it’s too cheap to get a driver’s license. 10 years $175 . should $ 175 per year. Also it’s too easy to pass or bribe to get a license. People come here that never sat in a car ( and would never get a car and license in there Country) working minimum wages gets a car and license after 6 to 12 months. that’s why it’s too many cars on the road 0

  18. Anonymous says:

    I thought there was no police enforcement. Wow how wrong you are. Just slow down.

  19. Anonymous says:

    How about constant speed cameras? 100% detection and ticketing every time. Speeding over. No need for more police or expense. All automated. All easy. All in operation in countries around the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speed is not the issue. If the RCIPS would release data as to how many fatal accidents happen in their “hot spots” where they like to issue tickets, you will quickly notice that their actions are different from their words. The cherry on top is them asking us to take a pledge, as if this is the fix, while they still set up to catch people doing 5mph over the limit, but the police themselves know not how to indicate. Oh the irony.

      • Anonymous says:

        Speed is absolutely the issue. Accidents that happen with excess speed cause excess injury and excess property damage.

        • Anonymous says:

          My point was that the excessive speeding that causes fatalities, do not happen at 5pm on Linford Pierson. When the fatalities do happen, where are the police checking speed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Good idea if cars still displayed front plates. Another glorious example of failure to enforce.

    • Annonymous says:

      8.20pm So only the law abiding will actually receive the ticket because they have a legitimate address and P.O.Box. The 60% from a certain country who should not even be in Cayman will slide by as we don’t know their real names, they move regularly and bever know their proper street address, they don’t transfer vehicles when buying/selling etc. and they don’t have a P.O. Box.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ah… I didn’t realise Eric Bush is in charge of National Road Safety. That explains a lot.

  21. Guido Marsupio says:

    “…increased from 53,779 to 62,798. With 11,000 more…”

    That’s 9,000 more, not 11,000 – back to grammar school maths, CNS!

    CNS: Sorry! Had a bit of a brain fart there.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The fact remains, the full-time and well-equipped RCIPS can’t tell us they are holding anyone to a better standard of driving, from their air conditioned clubhouse. There is no work-around to getting out there and writing tickets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Between the police not getting out and enforcing the laws you also have immigration not checking the job sites for all the illegal workers who are being employed.Breaking small laws lead to breaking larger laws and without the fear of getting caught, the culprits will always get more brazen. To many times the majority of Jamaican police allow their fellow countrymen to get a clear pass, thus the next time they push it further and further. Get enforcement out of the AC and hit these large job site checking workers and enforcing the laws; start taking drivers off the roads who are not following the road laws. Unfortunately this will never happen because then our treasured developers won’t have the cheap labor force and that is something our elected officials will never tolerate. But Mr Eric believes the pledge will take care of it. If that is the case why do we even need to pay for police if everyone would just pledge to be good, law abiding citizens?

    • Anonymous says:

      To hell with this pledge garbage, the only thing that these clowns understand is force. Take them off the roads and if they keep driving jail time or if a foreigner deport them. Lets see if this bunch of Melly mouth politicians have the fortitude to do that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on! Ever notice how only in the winter months the police have speed traps in their usual spot? Summer or rain…NOTHING!

  23. Anonymous says:

    A pledge? About as effective as the CoP telling gangsters that if they don’t stop their criminal life, they could end up in prison or dead.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, this Eric Bush certainly is a real bright chap as all we need to solve any problem is to take a pledge. Guess he should get a noble peace prize as he can solve all the worlds problems with a pledge. How lucky we are; you have Seymour riding donkeys in the full moonlight, Andre the bead man rubbing beads, Premier Ju Ju doing fashion shows and Eric Bush taking pledges. We are in paradise!


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