In an e-mail that circulated much of Cayman recently, 19 year-old Chantelle Day asked the Cayman Islands motoring community, ‘How many of us do we have to lose before we get the picture?’
The e-mail came about after a weekend, which saw four young men involved in serious collisions, deeply impact the community. Her heartfelt appeal was directed to all residents, young and old alike, to take a stand on driving more responsibly.
Chantelle lost her cousin, Iliana De La Cruz, in March, when the vehicle she was travelling in collided with a truck. ‘Losing my cousin is the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my life so far – it’s been very hard, and still is, on my family, my friends and myself,’ she said.
There have been 10 fatalities on the roads so far this year. ‘We are a small island, a small community in comparison to most,’ Chantelle continued. ‘We need to take responsibility for this issue that our age group is facing. It’s not our parents on the roads driving like idiots with no respect for anyone else – it’s our friends, our boyfriends, our cousins and people we grew up with.’
In an effort to get her voice heard, Chantelle will front the Streetskill cinema advertisement to help promote safer driving, as well as the September segment which is aimed at highlighting the traumatic effect collisions can have on families and communities.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Stuart Kernohan said: ‘Our condolences go out to Chantelle and her family for the loss they have suffered, as well as to all the other families who have lost loved ones through collisions.
‘It is disappointing to see the extent of our current situation; however, it is encouraging to see Chantelle step forward in an attempt to reach out to her peers and also assist us with educating them on road safety,’ Mr Kernohan continued.
The Streetskill campaign, launched on May 1 by the National Roads Authority, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council and Government Information Services, is aimed at educating motorists and influencing their behaviour.
StreetSkill will focus on a number of different aspects of driver safety such as speeding, drink driving and child safety over the coming year, using a multi-media approach.
Organisers are looking for feedback on the campaign and welcome ideas and thoughts from the community. Residents are encouraged to contact [email protected] – 244-3004 or [email protected] – 244-1762 or [email protected] – 244-5865.