There are three major areas we need to tackle in order to stop the amount of motor vehicle accidents and road deaths in our country.
We need a comprehensive government-approved driving school that everyone must attend and complete in order to be eligible for a full driving licence in the Cayman Islands.
There needs to be a proper curriculum, which is covered by the driving school. It should include an intensive eight to 10 week programme of written/classroom and practical components.
All sessions must be attended. At the end of the 10-week programme a written and practical exam must be taken and the participant must receive a passing grade in order to receive a certificate.
The classroom components will include photos and/or video taken from motor vehicle accidents in the Cayman Islands to give a picture for these students to think about the next time they think about getting in their car after a night of drinking.
Once this certificate is gained, they take this to the vehicle licensing department in order to be eligible for a full driving licence.
This certificate when taken to a motor vehicle insurance company should give them a discount toward their first insurance coverage on a car.
Road blocks in strategic areas should be held every Friday and Saturday for a couple of months.
Some examples of strategic areas would be on West Bay road at either end and at either end of both highways.
Every vehicle is stopped and at the discretion of the police officer the driver is taken out to do a walk and/or a breathalyzer test.
The road blocks should be in effect from 11pm until 3am or when the night clubs close.
In order to encourage young people not to get in their cars after a night of drinking, you need a proper taxi system. There should be taxis available at all major night clubs and bars on West Bay Road.
There should also be a fixed rate, which applies at these times.
An agreement needs to be made with either a taxi company or a couple of taxi companies.
A fixed rate is approved by Government and on Friday and Saturday night when people are leaving the bars the taxi drivers can only charge the fixed rate per person.
There should be one number posted in bars and nightclubs and all the restrooms in these places with the taxi number to call.
By implementing the ideas I have discussed above will not stop people drinking and driving and the number of deaths on our roads, but it will decrease the numbers dramatically.
Right now we are being reactive and picking up the dead bodies after the accident. We need to look at the root of the problem and be proactive to solve the problem before you have an accident and a dead body.
Instead of spending money on an officer to investigate all the road accidents and deaths we need to spend thousands of dollars on education and a proper driving school with trained instructors.
We need to equip our youth with all the tools that will enable them to make informed decisions before putting those keys in the ignition after drinking.
Please, let’s come together and stop this now before we have a problem that has snowballed out of control.
I cannot see another young person die on our roads when I can and we can as the future of Cayman stop this from happening.