Roundabout directions, taximeters in driving rules

Roundabout main

Two long-debated but seemingly never resolved issues have been put to rest by the release of Traffic Law regulations last week, which include a comprehensive Cayman Islands Road Code.  

First, everyone who uses the roads will finally have a guide to using single and dual carriage roundabouts.  

Second, all taxis operating in the Cayman Islands will be required to operate with electronic meters that show how much a customer is being charged for the trip.  

 

Roundabouts  

The roundabout rules, agree or disagree, are contained in pages 41-44 of the Road Code. The rules begin by stating general traffic guidelines such as signalling, travelling the appropriate speed and going in a clockwise motion around the traffic circle.  

All drivers are required to give way or yield to traffic approaching from the immediate right on the roundabout. Overtaking and stopping while on the roundabout are strictly prohibited.  

If you are taking the first exit of a dual carriage roundabout you must keep in the left lane and continue signalling left to leave the circle.  

If you are taking the second exit [in general going straight across to the opposite side of the roundabout] the Road Code states: “Select the appropriate lane on approaching the roundabout; stay in the chosen lane until you need to alter course to exit; signal left after you have passed the exit preceding the one you want.”  

If you are taking the last exit [moving three-quarters of the way around the circle] you must signal right and approach the roundabout in the right-hand lane.  

“Keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit,” the code states. “Signal left after you have passed the exit preceding the one you want.”  

Drivers are asked to keep watch for pedestrians crossing the exit roads and cars crossing in front of them on exit roads.  

For mini-roundabouts: “Approach these in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles must pass to the left of the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal. Beware of vehicles making U-turns.”  

For single carriage roundabouts: “The same rules apply on approach as normal roundabouts. However, when exiting onto a single lane from the roundabout, you must indicate and be on the left to exit properly. Any vehicle on the right intending also to exit on the single lane, must give way and reposition by going around and then exit correctly. If there is a merge lane on exit, then you must remain in this lane and give way to traffic on your left before exiting.”  

 

Taximeters  

According to section 9 of the Traffic [Public Passenger Vehicles] regulations, 2012, these meters are a must for those taxi drivers who want to stay employed.  

Section 9 reads: “The driver of a taxi shall not carry on any business of plying for hire or carrying passengers for hire or reward unless the taxi is fitted with a taximeter. 

“No taxi with a taximeter shall, at any time, be used for plying hire of carrying passengers for hire or reward unless the taximeter has been tested and approved by or on behalf of the [Public Transport] Board.”  

The traffic regulations also set out certain areas that are excluded as passenger pick up zones between the hours of 6am and 6pm in the District of George Town for both buses and taxis.  

Those areas include: North Church Street from the northern part of the intersection with Fort Street down to Harbour Drive; Harbour Drive itself and South Church Street between Harbour Drive and Boilers Road. 

roundabout

The new Road Code informs best practice for driving on roundabouts. – Photo: Submitted

19 COMMENTS

  1. Specifically on taking second exit, could editor please comment:

    On the illustration we can see gray car (not sure about the color, hope you’ll understand which one I mean), the one which is going to second exit, using left indicator entering roundabout. This contradicts text of the law cited above:

    Select the appropriate lane on approaching the roundabout; stay in the chosen lane until you need to alter course to exit; signal left after you have passed the exit preceding the one you want.

    Signal left after you have passed the exit preceding the one you want – Does it mean that before the preceding exit car should not be using neither left nor right signal? Or should it show right? In the picture it shows left signal. Based on the cited law – should be not using any signals.

    Also about overtaking on the roundabout – overtaking in general sense means passing the vehicle by changing the lane. If cars are moving in different lanes and one of them passes just because it moves with different speed it is not considered overtaking. I think it was already prohibited to change lanes while on the roundabout. Now it seems to be allowed but only in specific circumstances (Any vehicle on the right intending also to exit on the single lane, must give way and reposition by going around and then exit correctly).

  2. By allowing the outside car to go to the second exit, is where all the accidents occur.

    By changing the roundabout laws, to make sense. We can then feel safe in roundabouts.

    Simply put. If the outside lane driver could only exit on the very first left.

    It would stop all accidents or near misses.

    The driver on the inside would never have to look over to his left.
    Any car beside him, with the change I am advocating above. The driver on the inside would simply know this guy on his left is exiting on the very first exit. So he’s safe to go to the second exit.

    You will also note. That when a car on the outside, goes to the second exit. He blocks any traffic leaving the first exit, going into the roundabout.

    As it is now, with the outside driver allowed to exit on the second exit. And the inside driver also the same.

    You must have two rules for two types of round abouts. talk about making it overly complicated.

    The double laned roundabouts, and the smaller single lane roundabouts like fosters by the airport.

  3. Sorry Big Berd, can’t agree with you on this one, you can’t have a ‘Cayman only’ set of driving rules for roundabouts. Try this one, use the left lane for going straight over. You are right about changing lanes being the usual point of contact, but work out how many lane changes you get with moving to the right to enter the rounabout and then changing lanes to exit vs entering from the left lane and exit from the left lane.

    Stan – yes confusing picture, do not signal on entering a roundabout when going straight over, indicate left once you’ve passed the exit immediately before yours. I prefer to imagine a roundabout as a crossroads when you first get there, indicate left for taking the first left, right to go right and nothing for straight over, then you have to tack on the indicate left bit for the exit you want, but as long as everyone starts with the basics, left for left and right for right we will be a whole lot better off than we are now.

  4. Keeping it private. YOu just made my point.

    That is exactly what I am saying.

    If you are on the outside lane, which is the left lane. You should exit on the very first left. Not the second.

    Exactly my point.

    It would stop all accidents. End of story.

  5. Keeping it private,

    I like you approach, and it seems to reconcile with the law. The only problem (with local specialities) is that in case of QUOTE indicate … nothing for straight over QUOTE.

    When I see car indicating nothing I just can’t trust the driver. He might be following rules, or might be just ignoring any indication (difficult case of finger allergy, when finger itches the whole day if patient tries to touch indication lever even once. Such cases are not rare on our roads).

    If I don’t trust the driver, I follow the GWF rule (this is overriding rule – Give Way to Fool, which means that if you see car behaving strange, just let it pass). Following GWF rule is OK and keeps me safer, but a little bit less efficient – sometimes you have to stop and wait only because some other driver doesn’t want to show you what he/she is going to do.

    But I definitely agree with:

    but as long as everyone starts with the basics, left for left and right for right we will be a whole lot better off than we are now.

  6. Do the traffic regulations also set the dollar amounts taxi drivers may charge per mile or fraction of a mile recorded on their meters? If so could you publish this information?

  7. The whole subject of driving in Cayman needs to be reviewed.
    Are the laws of the road here not aligned to those in the UK?
    As far as roundabout etiquette is concerned, when I learned to drive in the UK the driver was and still is permitted, to execute a right turn exiting at the first, 2nd or 3rd exit whilst remaining in the left hand lane. Thus not having to exercise a less safe lane change.
    Those drivers used to driving on the right should read H.M.Highway Code, especially those drivers who persist on ‘sitting’ in the right hand lane on dual carriageways and then ‘undertaking’ on the inside left carriageway. This is especially dangerous and annoying and if deemed ‘illegal’ should be dealt with by traffic Police, resulting in a fine/ticket.
    Perhaps copies of the Highway Code could be available free at Island gas stations, thus helping educate all and making Cayman roads a safer place.

  8. Driving in the right lane (on dual carriageways for example) when not necessary should be subject to taxation. An idiot tax if you want, but it may soon remind/inform these fools that they should really be driving in the left lane, unless overtaking.

    Big berd, you’re never going to stop the accidents here – too many fools with cars.

  9. Rambler, that is not what the UK Road Code says. It says that you must go into the left lane only if you are taking the next exit, not an intermediate exit or the final exit or full circle. There will not be an unsafe lane change unless another driver is not in the correct lane because he is following your directions. You are obviously one of the drivers who is causing problems at the roundabouts.

  10. Pattieman, the purpose of the two lanes is to ease the flow of the traffic, not simply for overtaking. You should ensure that you are in the correct lane for your next manoeuvre, e.g. when entering a roundabout.

  11. Speaker – refer to the section that says ‘when not necessary’. If I am turning right at the next roundabout, then I go in the right lane. This does not mean I drive from Britannia, all the way to the Cost U Less roundabout in the right lane, like a moron.

    The idea of the two lanes is to ease the flow – by cars sticking to the left, and when someone wishesto pass, they do so in the right and move back to the left. What isn’t helping the flow is having two cars side by side, usually around 5mph under the limit – the car in the right lane is being driven by a moron in this example.

  12. Speaker, Pattieman,

    I’ll add my five cents – in two lane roads (not that many in Cayman actually) – I would insist on speed differentiation. Saying that if speed limit is 40 miles, then you can do anything between 25-40 in the left lane, but only 40 and not a mile less in the right lane.

    I understand where the idea of always driving in left lane unless overtaking comes from, but I am not sure that it is good idea – any kind of additional lane changes is an additional risk, especially with some people’s driving skills.

    But I am absolutely convinced, that if you are in right lane, then you do max allowed speed or move left. Otherwise it’s acting like moron and also forcing people to pass using left lane, which is not safe.

  13. What is the first exit and what is the second? And I think one of the red cars on the picture shows wrong turning lights. 4 years of driving Cayman roundabouts never cased any problems, but I am confused now looking at the picture and explanations.

  14. Coming from the U.S. I find Cayman drivers to be extremely courteous. Rarely do I hear a horn blasted in anger, just a friendly toot to say hello. Also, the taxi service is honest and fairly priced. Cayman has a lot to be proud of.

  15. Its fairly simple to use a roundabout – don’t over complicate things. Its left had lane for turning left or straight over, right had lane for turning right – its not difficult. Once you can handle that principle you can move up to imagining a clock face – anything up to and including 12 (straight) is left hand lane – anything past 12 is classed as a right hand lane approach. After passing the exit before the one you want to take is the right time for putting on your left indicator to signal that you are leaving at the next exit. Ta-daaaa!

  16. This round about is totally unsuited for the Cayman Islands. The driving habits are way to dangerous and this round about is even more risky to venture.I am curious as to who are these geniuses that design our roads, it is designed to kill off our people, and has nothing to do with safety. This round about needs to be revamped, the road straightened out and get rid of this stupid circle. The devil lurks around in circles. Nothing good is in this stupid design.

    I could not believe my eyes when I saw this design,
    Why are Caymanians being made fools of and being exploited by every Tom Dick and Harry. Now you are allowing some nut case engineer to footsie with your very lives by introducing this dangerous piece of road?
    Who needs a round about like this one?
    This is a Death trap, god forbid. Caymanians must force government to change the design of this stupid roundabout.

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