Law allows traffic wardens

Traffic wardens could soon be a familiar sight on the streets of Cayman following the approval of new legislation.

The Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2006 was passed in the House Thursday.

It gives the Commissioner of Police the right to appoint the wardens, said Minister Arden McLean.

Mr. McLean said it takes years and a considerable financial investment to train police officers.

He believes it is a waste of the country’s resources to have police doing things like directing traffic.

When there is an increase in crime and a need for policing, it does not make sense to have officers directing vehicles and pedestrians when they could be out catching criminals, he said in the House.

Mr. McLean said that somewhere the law has changed in that the court has the discretion to disqualify a drunk driver for less that one year.

The amending law he introduced would clear that up by saying that anyone convicted of such an offence must be disqualified for at least 12 months, he said.

Sometimes there is speculation as to whether a motorist was drunk in an accident in which someone died, and police did not check them for excess alcohol, said Mr. McLean.

The law will take any discretion away from the police and make it mandatory for them to test for alcohol in such circumstances, he said.

He believes it is necessary to remove any doubt as to whether the person involved is intoxicated. And it will remove any stigma from the police, he said.

The law also allows for the issuance of temporary disabled badges to people with temporary disabilities, such as a broken leg, he said.

Through its various provisions the new law will bring more efficiency and effectiveness to the vehicle licensing process, help with the control of traffic and help the disabled, he said.

Opposition MLA Rolston Anglin said the new law will make the provision of drivers’ licences and the registration of vehicles more efficient.

The law also deals with flaws in relation to breath tests and serious accidents, he said.

People sometimes believe the reason someone has not been tested for alcohol is because of who they are, he said.

The law takes away the discretion from the police but also protects them from criticism after some accidents, he said.