The death of Tito Whittaker is awful, sad and needless.
We live directly across from the accident scene, witnessed the aftermath and I have some thoughts:
The most common comment in North Side is that the police officer was chasing the Honda Civic and should not have been.
I think the law here is that a driver must stop and pull to one side of the road on the signal (e.g. flashing police cruiser lights) from a police officer. The responsibility was that of the driver.
I have heard some comments on the condition of the road because of the installation of the water line occurring in the area of the accident.
I have heard some comments about the placement of the concrete structure that the auto impacted.
The simple fact is that, at the 30 mph legal speed limit in North Side, there are no problems in the area and the two young men are leading normal lives today!
As Mr. Joey Ebanks said so eloquently in the Compass Tuesday, this is not a government problem, this is a parenting issue.
A suggestion or two for use as you see fit:
I understand the government is considering a staged driver’s permit for young, new drivers.
Since many of these accidents occur late in the evening, it might be worthwhile considering limiting the time of driving for those under 23 years of age to the period from 6am until 10pm each day. The age and time would need study to make it fit the precise needs of Grand Cayman.
Obviously, many would be inconvenienced but they would at least be alive to be inconvenienced.
Automatic confiscation of automobiles being driven by those younger than 23 who are stopped by the police for any speeding infraction; no court consideration and no right of appeal. The car is just gone forever, no matter who the legal owner is. I suspect lots of parents would think twice when letting junior have the car.
Suspension of driver’s permit for one year for anyone younger than 23 who is stopped by the police for any speeding infraction. During that year the subject would be required to attend class on auto safety.
I suggest the classes be held from 10pm to midnight each Friday and Saturday night for the entire year. If taught correctly, we would at least have more knowledgeable drivers.
Make the parents co-responsible for the actions of drivers between first-license and 23. Penalties assessed to young drivers younger than 23 also to be assessed to the parents. This way, parenting is less likely to be the issue.
Hope this is a bit useful. It was not a pretty scene.
PS: I heartedly endorse professional, non-parent driver’s education before granting a permit.