Today’s Editorial February 28: Throw the book at speeders

Some people just don’t get it.

Despite the many road deaths over the past year, despite warnings by the Commissioner of Police, despite pleas by media and others, some people just insist on speeding.

In the past two weeks since Cabinet Minister Arden McLean announced he was going to push for a tough package of laws and regulations to make our roads safer, more than 100 people have been caught speeding.

Commissioner of Police Stuart Kernohan said he was very disappointed to see that people were continuing to put their lives and the lives of others in danger.

So are we.

It just proves that Mr. McLean’s hard-nosed approach to traffic offenders is really needed; nothing else is likely to work.

If the results of our most recent caycompass.com on-line poll are any indication, Mr. McLean has a lot of support from the community. By far the most respondents to the poll question thought a whole package of measures, including better law enforcement and stiffer penalties, should be adopted to make Cayman’s roads safer.

We say throw the book at speeders. Hit them where it hurts: make them pay a lot of money and take away their driving privileges if they are persistent offenders or driving at very high speeds.

Slowly but surely, the tide is changing so that drinking and driving isn’t socially acceptable behaviour here any more. The reason for that has a lot to do law enforcement. The same can be true for speeding.

If the Royal Cayman Islands Police Services wanted to – and had the resources to – it could probably issue 100 or more speeding tickets a day. That’s how bad the problem has gotten in certain areas.

And we’re not just talking about 5 mph over the limit; we’re talking about 10 mph over the limit and more. That should be considered speeding in anyone’s book.

Whether these people are speeding because they are in a hurry or because they just like to go fast, they have no right to put the lives of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists in danger. It’s is the height of selfishness and societal irresponsibility to think their time or their thrill is more valuable than the safety of others.

So let’s get tough on speeding. Let’s haul speeders into court and make them pay large fines and higher insurance rates. Let’s take away their licence if they persist on speeding. Maybe then, when they have to walk or ride their bicycle to work and they almost get killed by another selfish speeding idiot they’ll understand why there are speed limits in the first place.

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