A more than 10 per cent rise in
violent crime reported within the past 15 months has dominated Cayman Islands
news headlines, and put major pressure on the Royal Cayman Islands Police
Service to do something about the problem.
But a story that has received
little press over that time is the major drop in traffic accidents that has
“One bright spot on the Islands, if
you look at the road traffic accidents where people have been killed; in 2008
it was 11, last year it was four,” Police Commissioner David Baines said.
So far in 2010, two people have
died in vehicle accidents.
Perhaps even more encouraging was
an 11 per cent reduction in total traffic accidents between 2008 and 2009.
According to RCIPS statistics, there were more than 1,500 car wrecks in ’08 –
compared to 1,331 crashes last year.
During that same period, citations
for driving offences rose about 25 per cent.
Speeding tickets rose an astounding
50 per cent from 2008 to 2009. More than 5,500 people were cited for speeding
last year compared to nearly 3,700 in 2008.
Fewer citations were handed out for
drink driving and failure to wear seat belts in 2009.
Mr. Baines said it appeared that
local drivers were starting to get the message about RCIPS traffic enforcement.
“All of those (enforcement
measures) each play their part in starting to reduce, if you will, the carnage
on the roads,” Mr. Baines said.
Through the first three months of
2010, the traffic improvement trends have continued.
Speeding tickets again increased
during January, February and March of this year, with police handing out 33
more citations for the offence when compared to 2009.
Also similar to the 2009 trend,
police are handing out fewer tickets for DUI and seat belt violations in the
first quarter of 2010.
Overall, traffic accidents dropped
a further 15 per cent between January and March of this year.