Editorial for December 21: Be careful on Cayman’s roads

Yesterday we had to report the sad news of the death of a 26-year-old accountant who was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while trying to cross West Bay Road early Saturday morning.

The 39-year-old driver of the van that hit and killed Michael Edgington was arrested on suspicion of causing a death by dangerous driving and driving under the influence.

Instead of a happy, celebratory Christmas, this tragic incident will mar the holidays – and lives – of many people in addition to ending Mr. Edgington’s life. While the young accountant’s family and friends mourn, the family and friends of the driver will worry about how the accident will impact his life. The driver himself will now have to live his life with the heavy burden of knowing he has killed a human being.

The incident highlights the dangers on Cayman’s roads during the holidays.   While we don’t know for sure if the van driver was under the influence – he was only arrested on suspicion of that crime – we do know, based on the number of arrests the past few weeks, that there are plenty of people driving after they’ve been drinking.  We also know that when people go to bars they drink alcohol, and that when they leave those bars – even if they are taking a taxi or have a designated driver – they might not be using the best judgment when they do things like cross a busy road.

Add other road safety issues – like cyclists without the proper lights, joggers/walkers who are out walking at night wearing dark clothing without safety lighting, and the lack of crosswalks on many busy streets – and it’s probably only a Christmas miracle that more people aren’t killed during the holiday season.

We urge everyone who is either driving, peddling or walking on Cayman’s roads to be very careful and to use common sense during the rest of the holiday season.  All it takes is one instance of bad judgment or the loss of concentration for a moment to turn what should be a joyous holiday season into tragedy.

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