Crashes increased 11% in 2023 but death toll fell

| 26/04/2024 | 40 Comments
Scene of a fatal crash in August

(CNS): Fewer people were killed on the roads in the Cayman Islands in 2023 than in 2022, but the number of collisions increased by around 11%, with police recording an average of 61 crashes per week. According to statistics released by the RCIPS this week, nine people died on the roads last year compared to 14 in 2022, and 24 people were seriously injured in 3,196 collisions, the most ever recorded in a single year. Police also recorded a whopping total of 10,716 traffic offences, a 14% increase on the previous year.

At a press conference on Wednesday, where the traffic statistics were revealed along with other crime figures, Police Commissioner Kurt Walton said the situation on the roads remained a major issue for the RCIPS. But drivers have to take “responsibility for the carelessness, recklessness and indiscipline we are seeing”, he said, adding that the average of eight crashes every day is “just too many, but it comes down to driver responsibility”.

The RCIPS issued more than 4,600 speeding tickets last year, a 52% rise in prosecutions, which was due to far more targeted and proactive road operations. But Walton warned, “We cannot prosecute our way out of this.” He stressed that the police are working with all stakeholders to improve road safety, including taking part in education and awareness programmes.

In addition to fatalities and serious injuries, 390 people suffered minor injuries in collisions in 2023. The police have said that excessive speed and careless driving remain the main causes of car crashes.

There were 270 arrests for DUI in 2023, a 15% increase from 2022. Around 43% of all the drivers arrested for DUI were at least double the drink-drive limit, and 27% were three times over the new limit. Only 9% were recorded as between that new limit of 0.7 and the old limit of 0.100, suggesting that the decrease in the permitted blood-alcohol level for drivers has made only a slight difference to the figures for this offence.

Speeding was the most common traffic offence, followed by driving an unlicensed vehicle, for which the police issued over 3,000 tickets. More than 600 people were fined for having tinted windows that were too dark, while almost 400 people were caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Crashes and road offences are happening all over Grand Cayman and increasingly on Cayman Brac, where two people were killed on the roads last year and where police issued 181 speeding tickets. Little Cayman remains the last place where crashes and offences are very rare. The only traffic ticket issued on Little Cayman last year was to one driver for DUI.

See the traffic statistics in the recently released report in the CNS Library.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Clearly, safer driving!

  2. Anonymous says:

    People, please drive at 70kph rather than 60kph and less. Some people even drive 50kph in 40mph zone!

  3. Caymanian says:

    1. Do not accept drivers licenses from Jamaica. The UK doesn’t so why do we?? You can hate this comment all you want, but the vast majority of reckless and speeding drivers that I see on the road between 5am and 7am are guys in florescent yellow and orange shirts headed to construction sites. They drive like that in Jamaica, so of course they’re going to drive like that here. Make them take a mandatory road safety course AND a driving test before issuing them a Cayman license!!
    2. Ban the importation of any vehicle more than 7 years old. The vast majority of reckless and speeding cars are Honda Civics and Accords, Toyota Mark X’s and Starlets. All are more than 10-15 years old. We don’t have to go full Bermuda mode, but make it harder for people to own vehicles here. For such a tiny island, there are WAY too many cars!

    • Anonymous says:

      Number 2 is already done. There’s still plenty of old cars for Jamaicans to smash up for years to come.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does age really matter. A two year old car could come from a chop shop. By the way one of my cars is 41 years old and the other 21 years old.

    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree but our test also has to change. It is a complete joke. I know kids who have passed after ONE lesson. Frankly the UK shouldn’t accept the Cayman license either. It is worthless.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I read the breakdown of offenses ticketed in 2023. Across the three islands, including every district, less than 60 tickets were given for failure to wear a seatbelt.

    You want a stupid pledge to work? start with this law that really is there to protect incompetents from their own failings as drivers. Enforce it, or remove it!

  5. Anonymous says:

    no police on the road from 5am to 7am is a huge problem.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You’ve been giving driving licenses to people who can’t drive safely at any speed for ever and continue to do so. Of course you have a stupid number of crashes. Anyone seriously expecting RCIPS can do anything about it is completely delusional. At least half the people on our roads couldn’t pass a basic UK test.

  7. Anonymous says:

    1 death per year is too many. So many are avoidable if the police would just catch more speeders and reckless drivers behaving like fools.

    It’s not ok…but nobody seems to care.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Every single working day, dump trucks (and other vehicles of course) break the speed limit racing through Bodden Town. Who cares? Certainly not the RCIPS, comfortably lounging in BT police station less than half a mile away.

  9. Voxy Lady says:

    Plenty will continue to drive like Max Verstappen day in and day out.

    The wannabe F1 drivers not only pilot Fits, Voxys, minitrucks or Noahs, plenty of luxury SUVs and big American pickup trucks take to the course daily.

    Rich or poor, the driving of many is reckless, aggressive and unpunished. A devil-may-care attitude that is spreading like wildfire.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an insult to the current number one F1 driver Max Verstappen. He’s probably never had a ticket, and the Netherlands have one of the lowest accident and fatality rates in Europe.

      Maybe you meant to say some people here drive like Mad Max on meth even when they’re sober?

      • SJames says:

        Perhaps the reason for low traffic accidents in the Netherlands is the lack of roads. Everyone has a bike or a boat.

        • Sammy Hagar Slacks says:

          The Autobahn with its unlimited speed limits likely safer than these roads based on number of crashes.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Road deaths are not deterrence performance statistics. Disgusting.

  11. Anonymous says:

    a by-product of rcips not enforcing basic rules of the road.
    free simple solutions to terrible driving standards:
    1.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.
    2. as per the uk, do not accept jamaican driving license
    3. if you cause an accident or get charged with careless driving , you must automatically re-sit driving test

    • Anonymous says:

      We are already paying crazy money for over 400+ full time officers and latest state of the art equipment. We are not out of line for insisting they show up and use this stuff to do their jobs. It doesn’t matter what nationality the crime fighters are from, or who they write tickets to – just that the deterrence job gets done.

    • Anonymous says:

      For the love of God, a private traffic enforcement entity would be terrible. You could have a separate division for parking tickets that ate affiliated to the police etc, but anything else would be awful.

      Boost the traffic department to at least double. Have at least 4 or 5 more sleeper units, unmarked Hondas or something else commonly seen here. A couple of Toyota Camrys ain’t the solution. Then, train ALL the police how to actually drive. Then fit cameras in all police vehicles with them facing front, rear, and internal. Then hold drivers to account, both the public and the police. It’s not hard!

    • Anonymous says:

      Private traffic enforcement? Yeah because that wouldn’t be corrupt beyond belief. What a terrible idea.

  12. Anonymous says:

    my dashcam records hundred of incidents of dangerous driving every week.
    why do rcips not want this footage?
    why would a police department not want clear evidence of people breaking the law?
    if i had video footage of robberies, would they want the footage?
    will wait for answers

    • Anonymous says:

      no child, that would require them to use a bit of thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      because it’s not evidential quality unless you want to give a statement to go with it, and you lose your camera or memory card for a few months.

      400 tickets for phones says it all. You could realistically get those numbers in a matter of days. Actively monitor CCTV at the traffic lights and you’ll get people on them driving through, or checking them whilst waiting. Hundreds every day. Literally, hundreds.

  13. They paved Paradise.... says:

    I am sure the police CAN prosecute the way out of this. Lawlessness has been ignored for much too long.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Good thing everyone is taking the pledge!

  15. V-Tec Bandito says:

    NRA has now reached peak looking for things to do. As evinced by the speed limit signs they are painting on the road surfaces.

    How about something a bit more useful?

    One might conservatively estimate that half the cars on the roads have speedometers denominated in and dominated by KPH. So it would be very helpful if the MPH road signs could include the KPH equivalent. Something that could be done with a pack of stickers from a hardware store.


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