The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service commenced Operation Truck Back this week, to crack down on the carrying of passengers in open-bed pick-up trucks.
The carrying of passengers in the back of trucks is and has been against the law, but after Hurricane Ivan, the law stopped being enforced.
Part of the reason had to do with police shortages of manpower and vehicles.
But it was also vital to move large numbers of recovery workmen from place to place at a time when there was a general scarcity of vehicles, so many construction businesses started transporting workers in the back of trucks.
However, Hurricane Ivan was almost two years ago. The police are up to full strength in personnel and in vehicles, and there is no longer the same pressing need to repair storm damage. It is past time for businesses and individuals to stop the dangerous and illegal practice of transporting passengers in the back of trucks.
Already this year, there has been a fatal traffic accident involving a person riding in the back of a truck.
The passengers riding in the cab of that truck escaped the accident with only minor injuries.
Had the person who died in that crash been in the cab, there is every reason to believe he would be alive today.
For some companies, the new law will make doing business more difficult, and will require they either purchase different vehicles, or make more trips to shuttle employees to jobsites.
But the workers could also take public transportation or catch rides with other people who have vehicles. There are viable alternatives that do not put people’s lives at risk.
Operation Truck Back is just a part of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s efforts to make the roads of Grand Cayman safer.
The RCIPS is also cracking down on speeding, drunk driving, not wearing seatbelts, and dangerous driving while talking on cell phones.
Trucks are also being targeted to make sure their loads are secured properly and do not pose any threat to other motorists or pedestrians they might pass.
The crackdown on all of these things was necessary because many motorists simply stopped obeying the law and using good sense while driving.
Too many people were dying on our roads, and that terrible trend has been slowed since the RCIPS started cracking down on offenders.