Slow down, young drivers

If young people are the future and hope of our islands, then we are burying our hope and losing sight of our future at a significant rate.

Many of us are failing to realize, but our islands are in a grave state, no pun intended. We are losing our young people through carelessness on our roads and it is indeed a serious matter.

I recently lost two close relatives in road accidents, both promising young Caymanians well under the age of 25.

I have cried for too many young men over the last four years; young men I sat in classrooms with or passed on the school compound on a regular basis, young men who lost their lives behind steering wheels.

I fail to understand some of my fellow young drivers and sometimes wonder why they have changed their driving be3haviour since the day on which they were issued a driver’s licence. The speed and recklessness experienced on the roadways are not only unnecessary, but also very frightening. Some of these young drivers continue to subject their lives and the lives of many innocent others to great risk with their foolish antics.

So many suggestions have been made to help decrease the number of road accidents and fatalities involving young people. Some say the driving age should be increased and that proper driver’s education classes should be offered at each high school.

Others insist that the licence examinations and the overall procedure for obtaining a licence should be more difficult. Many want to sue insurance companies when fatalities occur and strongly feel that they should deny coverage for drivers younger than 21 and the list goes on.

Ultimately, the onus is on each individual driver to take responsibility for his or her life, the lives of passengers and the lives of pedestrians and other drivers when behind the wheel. We are always eager to point fingers and place the blame on others when unfortunate situations occur.

Let us all put the blame on ourselves before these unnecessary tragedies take place.

My heart goes out to every family that has lost a loved one because of careless drivers. I am pleading with all drivers, but specifically the young ones: understand that when you injure or take the life of one individual, 101 other lives are affected.

That individual would have been someone’s role model, hero, teacher, best friend, colleague, inspiration and not to mention, someone’s child. Rest assured that none of these losses is easy to bear.

If you have no regard for your own life and personal safety, please do not end someone else’s life because of your own stupidity and recklessness.

May I therefore make a very special appeal to all drivers under the age of 25 (licensed or unlicensed): let us all join together to demonstrate our ability to act as responsible young adults who are preparing ourselves for responsible positions in these rapidly developing islands of ours.

Our parents, church brothers, sisters and others are praying for us.

Let us pray for ourselves and seek God’s guidance in the way we think, speak and act; especially our driving.

Samantha Dorman

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