Premier McKeeva Bush is appealing to drivers along West Bay Road to be “more than careful” when driving along the street that is widely used by pedestrians. He said he did not know why more motorists were not using the bypass and were continuing to use West Bay Road and warned that dangerous driving on the road, which runs parallel to Seven Mile Beach, could impact tourism.
“The heightened traffic is causing danger to our pedestrians on West Bay Road which… in certain places is not as well lit as we would like it to be.
“Visitors from all over the world sometimes don’t understand how the traffic moves,” he said. The speed limit for both the bypass and West Bay Road is 40mph. West Bay Road has been the scene of several serious accidents, including two last year in which pedestrians were killed.
On 18 December, 26-year-old Michael Edgington was killed after being struck by a car as he walked crossed West Bay Road. In April, Jane Oneill of Massachusetts, was struck by two vehicles as she tried to cross West Bay Road. She died in September after having been in a coma for months.
The rate of traffic accidents throughout Cayman has been cause for concern from the police.
Police reported that during a six-week Christmas holiday campaign to crack down on dangerous driving, 298 collisions were reported – an average of almost 50 a week. Between January and September 2010, Cayman’s roads averaged about 25 collisions a week. “I would implore our driving population… be more than careful and be more than mindful of our pedestrians, not just foreigners but local pedestrians, particularly on West Bay Road,” Mr. Bush said during a statement to the House on the state of the Islands’ tourism product on Friday, 14 January.