Today’s Editorial December 20: Mandatory driving test talks welcome

Talk of a proposed driver test for foreign workers to the Cayman Islands is welcome news.

On the surface it sounds like a great idea.

And in reality it is, despite the extra cost to government – which will be passed on to those being licensed – and the burden on the licensing department.

We’ve wondered many times over the years why people are allowed to come to the Cayman Islands, show what could or could not be a legal, valid licence from their home country and be given the freedom to roam our roads.

There’s no proof-positive way to guarantee the licence being presented is any good or that the holder knows how to drive.

In the past, Filipinos have brought fraudulent licences to Cayman to get legitimate driver’s licences here.

We agree that the idea of mandatory testing for all foreign nationals who want to drive on our roads is worthy of study.

We also hope that that study evolves into legislation.

It is true that when foreign nationals land in another country to live, they bring their bad habits with them, including driving.

That goes from speeding, to driving on the wrong side of the road and illegal overtaking.

While it may be tolerated in the country they hail from, it shouldn’t be accepted here.

There is not one Cayman national in this country that would be given carte blanche to get a licence to drive without being tested in any other country.

So why do we allow it here?

It is part of our nature to be genteel and kind as we bend over backwards to make our guests – both long term and short term – welcome.

But there are some areas where we have to draw the line.

And this is one of them.

The stats on accidents in this country are appalling.

There were 844 accidents from January to September this year, compared to 551 for the same time frame last year.

Yes, there are more people in the country now, which translates to more people on the road.

And that makes the argument for a mandatory test even more valid.

As for the proposal being too expensive; how much is a life saved from bad driving worth?

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