Road safety is never an easy issue to address and no one anywhere in the world is going to agree with everything their government does all the time.
But, in our view, it is time for the government of the Cayman Islands to stop making lame excuses and start making headway on traffic safety.
Here are some of the things policy-makers might do to improve the situation:
Implement a point system for local drivers
Ban talking on hand held cell phone devices and sending text messages while driving
Immediately implement a no tolerance policy on drink driving which requires police officers to test everyone who they believe to be drink driving
Fund long-needed improvements to local roads, starting with West Bay Road
Increase prison sentences for those who drink drive and seriously injure or kill people
These are just a few suggestions that can be taken on board and none of them are new.
Successive governments have openly supported these plans, apparently offering lip service to changes that have never happened.
Royal Cayman Islands Police officers continue to blabber on about “being safe while on our roads” and then let suspected drink drivers go after stopping them – telling them to get a cab home. They’re also routinely spotted talking on their own cell phones while driving a police car at 50mph down the street.
Residents all over the Islands react with shock and horror when cars ram into each other on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway near George Town; killing well-loved members of our communities. Then those drivers are given six, 12 or 15 month prison sentences by juries or judges that hear the cases.
Government officials apparently have no money for road improvements but can spend millions per year in subsidies for a money-losing tourist attraction.
Give us a brake.
It’s time for the Cayman Islands to get serious about road safety. We’ve lost nearly 50 people in the last five years in fatal accidents, hundreds more have been injured because of drunken or careless drivers.
It’s time for action.