More than a ticket per day for cell phone drivers

A month into the Cayman Islands’ partial ban on cell phone driving, it seems to police that motorists are starting to forget about it.

Since the ban started on 21 September up through this Sunday – a month – a total of 45 people have been ticketed for illegally using hand-held cell phones in their vehicles.

The new offence of using a mobile telephone while operating a vehicle was added to the Traffic Regulations last month and carries a $150 fine.

The Traffic Law does provide some exceptions in using mobile phones while driving, including the use of certain approved hands-free devices and using a hand-held phone to call 911 in case of emergency.

Police said they were “initially encouraged” by the public’s response to the new Traffic Law following an extensive public education campaign in the weeks prior to the law taking effect.

“We have been talking about the dangers of cellphone driving for a long time and we welcomed the introduction of the law including the partial cellphone ban,” said Royal Cayman Islands Police Superintendent Adrian Seales. “We were aware it would take a huge cultural shift in the Cayman Islands for people to stop using their phones at the wheel, and that’s why we carried out an aggressive public education campaign in the weeks leading up to the start date.

“It’s extremely disappointing that complacency seems to be setting in. More drivers have been ticketed in the last half of the month than in the two weeks immediately following the implementation of the ban.

“Use common sense. The legislation has been put in place for a very good reason – that reason is that cell phone driving is dangerous, it distracts drivers and could cause road crashes, serious injury or death.”

Cell phone driving isn’t the only traffic related offence keep patrol officers busy in the last month. According to RCIPS statistics, some 88 people were ticketed for failure to wear a seat belt during the same month-long period.

Fifty-one drivers were ticketed for speeding; another 67 were fined for defective lights and 22 drivers who had excessive tinting on their windows.

1 COMMENT

  1. It will change and trust me, money will do that.

    I have even seen people on cell phones driving onto school property. Driving is challenging enough in Cayman, let alone trying to multi task on the phone. A coffee and a donut would be a complete set for the accomplished driver.

    Keep moving toward a total ban of driving and talking on the phone. It saves lives.

  2. It will take quite a while for the law to have the full effect. We experienced a similar situation here in New York. Whereas cell phone usage here has significantly decreased, there are still some who couldn’t care less about the law or the danger involved. Fines were actually doubled from 50 to 100, which deterred many drivers from the practice.

    The police have be extra vigilant to catch violators who will do whatever it takes to skirt the law. And, as been suggested, double the fines, which may have a more significant effect.

    In life there are some who seem to find joy and delight in breaking the law. That is why when the fines are heavy, it won’t be joy and delight anymore.

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