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Law Enforcement 03 Jul, 2023 Follow News


There’s been an alarming spike in serious traffic accidents in Cayman, including road fatalities.

Already this year there have been five deaths in road accidents. In all, there has been a startling 37 deaths on our roads over the past three years alone.

Concerned about this worrying trend, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is stepping up vigilance and targeting the growing menace of drunk driving on the roads which is the cause of numerous road accidents.

The scale of the problem was addressed on the Caymanian Times radio programme and live-stream, Cayman Conversations with host Ralph Lewis, the newspaper’s publisher.

Appearing on this edition of the program discussing this issue of grave national concern were RCIPS Chief Superintendent Brad Ebanks and RCIPS Media Officer Jodie-Ann Powery.

“As we continue to get the population growth and the number of cars and drivers on the roads, we do expect to see an increase in motor vehicle accidents,” said Chief Superintendent Ebanks.

According to police traffic analysis, peak hours for accidents tend to be in the morning, lunchtime and the afternoons. “We will see peak hours for four hours for minor to moderate motor vehicle accidents. Later in the night and into the mornings is when we tend to find more serious accidents.”

Among steps being taken by the RCIPS to ‘arrest’ this situation is a combined strategy of enforcement and engagement, as explained by Media Officer Powery.

“Some of the things that we do to try to reduce the number of accidents is high visibility patrols, especially in those key times to discourage poor driving behaviour. And at night-time especially we hold what we call vehicle checkpoints. The public knows them as police roadblocks and these are also just specifically for deterrence.”

To date for this year, the RCIPS reports that it has already issued more than 5000 tickets, 700 more than for the same period last year.

This points to the scale of the challenge facing the police and other authorities as they try to bring this problem under control.

The statistics become all the more worrying considering that for all of 2022, there were 234 arrests for DUI (driving under the influence) but so far this year the number is already up to 130. Traffic accidents are also on the increase with 1700 recorded to date for this year compared to 1400 for all of 2022, which was already a large number.

The RCIPS officials warn that offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for both serious accidents, repeat offences and other breaches of traffic regulations.

Reflecting on the 37 road fatalities from 2020 to 2023 including five so far this year,” Chief Superintendent Ebanks lamented, “That is a massive, massive number of deaths on our roads. So I want to appeal to the public that road safety must be everyone’s primary concern. Safety for ourselves and safety of other road users is paramount.”

 And he had this sombre message for all road users in Cayman: “Before going out this weekend or any other weekend by night, please make plans to get home safely. If you plan to drive do not drink, and vice versa.”

The Chief Superintendent said that drunk driving and speeding are the main contributing factors to road fatalities. He also disclosed that “as it stands now, road fatalities and firearm-enabled crime are the RCIPS’s two major major concerns that we’re dealing with.”

He said the RCIPS is “going into it head on” with the hope that their efforts will curtail the carnage being witnessed on the streets of Cayman.

“So be careful. In other words, have discipline when you use the roads. In other words discipline and some consideration for other road users.”

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