Today’s Editorial October 09: Vehicle safety an issue

Following last year’s spate of road fatalities, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has done well in its campaign to crack down on dangerous driving.

Dangerous drivers are being sent to court in record numbers, and it seems like most people are getting the message that it’s only a matter of time before they get caught if they keep speeding or drinking before they drive.

Although we commend the RCIPS for its efforts to reduce speeding and drunk driving, there are some other dangerous road hazards relating to vehicle safety that also need to be addressed. These hazards can be just as deadly, too, as we unfortunately learned recently.

Of particular concern is the proliferation of illegal trailers and improper hauling that goes on here.

A trailer that came loose from a vehicle was at the centre of an incident which caused a bus to crash into a tree, ultimately leading to the death of the driver of the vehicle.

We know of another recent case where a boat came off a trailer in a roundabout, but luckily no one was killed in that incident.

Quite often, unlicensed and untested trailers are hauling boats. Sometimes it’s the trailers themselves that are the problem, sometimes it’s the way they’ve been hooked up. Regardless, if these trailers come loose or the boats fall off the trailer, there is as much if not more potential for a fatal accident as there is with a speeder or drunk driver.

And it’s not just trailers that are the problem.

Trucks are hauling aggregate, construction materials, debris or other things without them being properly secured. It’s a common occurrence to see rocks come bounding out of dump trucks; to see cut vegetation flying out of pick-up trucks; and to see construction materials in all sorts of vehicles stacked and loaded in such a way that one sharp turn or one quick stop will send dangerous projectiles hurtling out into the street.

Sometimes those projectiles could even be people, for despite the law stating passengers cannot ride in the back of an open pick-up truck, many construction companies apparently think they’re exempt from that law.

It’s time for the RCIPS to get tough on vehicle safety laws before someone else gets killed or injured.

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