Road safety a priority

This week, 23 -27 April, is being celebrated as Cayman Islands Road Safety Week.

A first in our history, it comes at a time when our economic growth has allowed more drivers, particularly young drivers, to navigate our roads.

Over the past year we have observed an alarming increase in the number of traffic accidents and fatalities on the road.

This has prompted the Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council to partner with StreetSkill, MattSafe, the Vehicle and Licencing Department and several other industry stakeholders in hosting Road Safety Week.

Each of these organisations has adopted a day this week, when they will host and sponsor special events supporting road-safety practices.

I encourage each and every member of this community to get involved in whatever way you can.

Whether it is coaching your children in road safety practices; volunteering to be designated drivers; or contributing ideas to the soon-to-be implemented revised traffic regulations, however small a contribution you can make, make it. Educate yourselves and your children. Help to make our roads safer.

The Cayman Islands Government has committed to doing all it can to effect change. Noteworthy aspects of traffic legislation under review by my ministry include:

• the tinting, modification and importation of vehicles;

• outdated traffic fines;

• vehicles operating with defective tyres and excessive loads;

• speeding fines, with a view to increase them;

• in certain instances, the immediate and automatic disqualification of a driver’s licence for speeding;

• implementing a point system in which motorists, after accruing a specified number of points for traffic offences, will lose his/her licence for a specified period of time; and

• regulations regarding the use of mobile phones while operating a vehicle.

It is also our hope to introduce the graduated licence programme by 1 July this year.

These improvements are not intended to make motorists’ lives difficult. But the people of the Cayman Islands, including government officials, have spoken very clearly: we simply desire to keep all of us, particularly our youth, alive.

We have lost too many motorists on our roads since the start of this year, and I express sincerest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.

Frankly, I want to stop expressing condolences.

Instead, I want to celebrate the achievements of our adults and applaud our youth as they pursue and realise their greatest dreams. And I know that every person in Cayman wants to do the same.

Working toward road safety today will benefit us all tomorrow. I therefore implore each and every resident to do their part. Drive safe, and be safe.

Arden McLean– Minister of Communications, Works and Infrastructure

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