Drinking message gets driven home

The Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council launched its sixth annual ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ campaign for the holidays on Tuesday.

Key elements of the campaign include posters and flyers that will be displayed in establishments serving alcohol, a 24-hour holiday taxi service, and wallet-sized cards that list the telephone numbers of the participating taxi companies, as well as telephone numbers to call to report drunk drivers.

Complications caused by Hurricane Ivan prevented the campaign from starting earlier this year, said CIRSAC chairwoman Aileen Samuel. ‘

We regret not getting this launched around the first of December like we normally do,’ she said.

The large posters will remind motorists not to drink and drive and display the telephone numbers of the six participating taxi companies on Grand Cayman.

Ms Samuel said some alcohol-serving establishments still have the poster up from last year.

‘That poster should be taken down and replaced with the new one because some of the telephone numbers and participating companies have changed,’ she said.

Ms Samuel stressed that the taxi service is not free.

‘The main benefit is that the participating companies have agreed to be on call for 24 hours per day,’ she said.

CIRSAC will also be delivering laminated flyers that will be hung in the restrooms of bars and restaurants with a graphic of an irate man saying ‘You again? I hope you’re not driving.’

One thing CIRSAC will not be doing this year, due to financial restraints, is sponsoring the free Purple Ribbon Bus service on New Year’s Eve.

However, the National Drug Council, which used to sponsor the programme, has taken it on again this year. It plans to run the service with 10 buses from 9 pm until 4 am.

Jacqueline Morris, secretary of CIRSAC, indicated that it was especially important for drivers not to drink and drive with the road conditions being what they are now after Hurricane Ivan.

‘Enjoy your holiday and save your life,’ was the message she had for people.

The police support the efforts of CIRSAC and will be initiating efforts of their own to keep Cayman’s roads safe for the holidays, said spokesperson Kafara Augustine.

‘The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service takes the offence of drunk driving very seriously and will be diligent when it comes to detecting and arresting drivers who are intoxicated.’

In past years, the police have set up unannounced road blocks to detect drunk drivers, and Mrs. Augustine suggested that similar tactics could be used again this holiday season.

Residents can report drunk drivers to the police by calling 2-800-123-4567 or at *33 on either a cell phone or landline.

Ms Samuel said she wished the public a safe and happy Christmas. ‘And please obey the speed limits,’ she implored, noting that speeding has been prevalent and dangerous on Cayman’s roads after Hurricane Ivan.

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