North Siders air traffic concerns

A new Traffic Law will address issues of concern to North Side residents, they heard at a public meeting on Tuesday, 22 April. Their concerns included speeders, road signs, halogen headlights and tinted windscreens.

Acting Commissioner of Police David George headed a panel of senior officers who attended the meeting at the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre.

Mr. George said a number of concerns raised had come up at other district meetings he had attended since the beginning of April.

Superintendent Adrian Seales responded to most of the comments about traffic problems. He pointed out there are now between 34,000 and 35,000 registered vehicles in the Cayman Islands.

Minister for Infrastructure Arden McLean told the East End meeting earlier this month that he had hoped to bring a new Traffic Law to the legislature in June, but it might be September.

Mr. Seales said at that time the law would address use of cell phones while driving and passengers in the backs of trucks.

Residents in both districts asked for lower speed limits in certain areas that are now 50 mph.

One suggestion for slowing down drivers was speed bumps. Mr. Seales said the National Roads Authority would not allow them on main roads because of issues with emergency vehicles.

Responding to a complaint about wave runners being a nuisance or hazard inside the reef along the north coast, Mr. George said money had been given to the Marine Unit for officers to have wave runners and be able to better deal with infractions. He said what ever police do must be proportionate to what the problem is.

Mrs. Alex Johnson said a number of young men in the district enjoy riding wave runners and working on them. Combining this issue with an earlier remark about the lack of young people attending meetings, she suggested getting them involved through interaction with wave runners.

Visibility of police officers in the district was another topic raised.

Chief Inspector Richard Barrow said some officers will be on bicycle.

District MLA Edna Moyle asked how many officers are assigned to North Side. Mr. George said there are nine in total, but only two per shift.

Mrs. Moyle asked for their names and a job description for the community police officer for the district; she said she wanted them before debate in Finance Committee and Mr. George said she would get them.

Mrs. Moyle said people complained to her about the lack of fast response to calls. She told Mr. George the Eastern Districts need more experienced officers, not those just graduating.

Mr. George said the police service had to manage its resources for best efficiency. Some types of calls may require specialist response, he said. But if police arrive 24 hours after a call is made, the concerned party should contact wither Mr. Seales or Mr. Barrow.