Today’s Editorial for December 08: Common sense on the roads

Usually when we write editorials about road safety, we talk about the dangerous driving habits on the Islands.

Not this time.

Today, we’re going to talk about the dangerous road habits of walkers, joggers and cyclists. Many people doing these activities, whether for exercise or just to get from place to place, need to use a little more common sense, especially at night.

The problem is that many walkers, joggers and cyclists aren’t doing anything to make themselves seen, like wearing bright or reflective clothing or using one of the many lights made especially for the activities.

The matter has become enough of a problem that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service issued a press release last week urging pedestrians and cyclists on the roads at night to take steps to ensure motorist can see them.

The RCIPS noted that all road users, whether they are drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, have a responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.

We wholeheartedly agree.

It can be very difficult for motorists to see pedestrians walking or jogging at night on Cayman’s dark and winding roads. If pedestrians are wearing dark clothes with no reflectors or lights, a driver might not see them until the very last second – and that leaves very little room for error in what could be a matter of life or death.

While we’re on the subject, pedestrians and cyclists also need to obey the laws of the road and to show some basic courtesies.

By law, cyclists should have lights on their bicycles at night. They should ride with traffic. Pedestrians should walk against traffic.

We understand that Cayman has a severe shortage of places to walk, jog or cycle, and that many of the roads here are very narrow. However, pedestrians can show a little courtesy by walking or jogging on the side of the road and doing so in single file if they’re with other people, at least when there’s oncoming traffic.