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.
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.”
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.