Several private and public schools in the Cayman Islands will have safety zones set up around them which require drivers passing by those locations to slow down to 15 miles per hour.
Roads Minister Arden McLean said solar powered, automatic amber lights have been installed in those areas to warn on-coming traffic. The lights are programmed to flash between 7.30-8.30am on weekday mornings and 2.30-3.30pm in the afternoons.
The zones will range from 200 to 700 feet at the following schools: John Cumber Primary, Wesleyan Christian Academy, Truth for Youth, John Gray High School, Cayman Prep, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Triple C, Bodden Town Primary, North Side Primary, and East End Primary.
‘You’ll notice some police cars parked nearby,’ Mr. McLean said. ‘It’s important that people recognise, especially on Walkers Road, (which) is one of the most vulnerable areas in this country.’
The flashing signals have not, and likely will not be added to every school on Grand Cayman. However, Mr. McLean said safety zones could be created at other schools where the National Roads Authority believes it is necessary.
George Town Primary School, for instance, will have warning lights installed and a 15 mile-per-hour speed limit in place as soon as the school has its new entrance and exit constructed.
Other schools do not need to take such measures, according to Mr. McLean.
‘Cayman International School (has) been carefully designed to keep their students away from traffic,’ he said. ‘Fifteen mile-per-hour school zones have, therefore, been deemed unnecessary…unless parents and school management identify a future need.’
Despite a massive increase in police patrols in the past 18 months, Cayman has already seen four people die in car accidents this year. More than 5,000 speeding tickets were handed out last year.
Mr. McLean again expressed his dismay at the number of people who continue to violate the traffic laws.
‘I just don’t understand the rush in this country, the island is flat,’ he said. ‘West Bay is in the same spot and East End is in the same spot that it has always been. It’s going to stay right there for a long time.’