Today’s Editorial March 15: Roadway Russian roulette

When are the young drivers of the Cayman Islands going to get it?

Speed kills; pure and simple.

It isn’t necessary, especially on a small island.

Today the family of Miss Teen Cayman 2004-05 Ilianan De La Cruz faces grief, disbelief and the painful task of making final arrangements for the 18-year-old.

She died immediately in the car crash that sent four others to hospital – one in critical condition in Miami – early Saturday morning.

We learned yesterday that a second person has died. He was in the bed of a truck that was struck in the crash.

Both the driver of the car in which Ms De La Cruz was a passenger and the driver of the truck were practicing bad habits.

More than just speed was involved in this tragic accident; people transported in the backs of trucks are also a bad driving habit.

Driving habits in the Cayman Islands are absolutely atrocious.

Police have cracked down with roadblocks and speed traps, but apparently that wasn’t enough to save the promising life of Ms De La Cruz or Angelo Luciano. She was 18. He was only 22.

The driver of the car in which Ms De La Cruz was a passenger is only 20. His life is hanging in the balance in a Miami hospital where he is in critical condition.

Needless accidents like the one that happened Saturday cause nothing more than pain and gut-wrenching agony for the people who knew those involved and their families.

The numbers of young people dying on Cayman’s roadways are sickening.

But it seems no matter how many roadblocks and speed traps are put in place or news stories and editorials written on the subject, young people continue to speed – and continue to die.

They’re killing each other and innocent people with bad driving habits.

But there are plenty of older people on the roads who are also practicing bad driving habits.

There is a long list of common mistakes people will make on the road, sometimes blissfully unaware they are doing anything wrong.

Drivers tailgate unaware of the stopping distance. People pull in front of others, not considering that a collision has been avoided only by another driver slamming on to the brakes.

One of the deadliest – as evidenced Saturday – acts of bad driving comes when a driver stops in the middle of the road to let a vehicle out or allow someone to cross the road. Sometimes this is done when traffic is flowing at a swift pace.

Foreign internationals are bringing their bad habits to this country and, many times – out of frustration – these bad habits are being emulated.

If you see bad driving, take down the licence number and call the police immediately. Their phone number is 949-4222.

But don’t make that call while you’re driving. That’s another bad driving habit; talking on cell phones while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Pull completely off the road and stop to make the call.

Driving in the Cayman Islands shouldn’t be a game of Russian roulette. Our drivers should be courteous and our roads safe.

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