Today’s Editorial: Another young life lost

Another senseless accident stole the precious life of a teenager this past Saturday morning.

Gone with the 17-year-old is his potential to be a future leader in the Cayman Islands.

Left behind are grieving parents, relatives and friends.

The accident happened at 3.58 Saturday morning, well before daylight. Arrested on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence is a 25-year-old man. His future, too, could be in jeopardy.

The latest accident is just another in a string of senseless deaths on the roads of the Cayman Islands.

The accident happened a day after Pat Ebanks, founder of Mattsafe, emailed to the Caymanian Compass a report that details a National Institute of Health Study that suggests the region of the brain that inhibits risky behaviour is not fully formed until age 25. Ms Ebanks founded Mattsafe after her own teenage son was killed in an automobile accident.

The research is being used in legislatures throughout the states to change legislation that puts restrictions on young drivers.

In Virginia the research was used to pass a law banning the use of cell phones by drivers younger than 18.

The research is being used in Maryland to table bills that would expand training and restrict passenger numbers and cell phone use for certain teenage drivers.

Lawmakers here only recently approved stricter legislation aimed at young drivers. The new law will make it harder for young drivers to get their driver’s licence and puts them through more rigorous training. It also puts a limit on the times of day when young drivers can and can’t be on the streets.

Had the new legislation been law, the 17-year-old who died this weekend in the vicinity of Linford Pierson Highway would not have been allowed on the roadway at almost 4am. The new legislation prohibits travel between 11pm and 5am. The legislation, which puts other stringent rules into place, will become law once it is gazetted.

In the meantime, it is incumbent on parents and guardians to monitor their young drivers’ behaviour.