Police in the Cayman Islands will begin their annual Christmas crackdown on drink drivers and speeders Friday.
Called “Stay Alive”, the campaign aims to combat drink driving, speeding, driving while using cell phones and failure to wear seatbelts, among other traffic offences.
Authorities said Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers would be working on the road safety campaign during the coming weeks in a bid to reduce deaths and injuries on the territory’s roads.
The Stay Alive initiative starts on Friday, 30 November and runs into January 2013, using a combination of education and zero-tolerance enforcement to challenge dangerous driving behaviour and reinforce the “don’t drink and drive” message. Targeted operations will take place to detect those who drink and drive, commit traffic offences or use the roads for criminal purposes.
“We do not want another family in the Cayman Islands losing a loved one as a result of drink driving or dangerous driving on our roads,” said Superintendent Adrian Seales.
“Too many people still get behind the wheel of their vehicles after drinking. When they do that they gamble with their own lives and the lives of innocent road users. Our message is quite clear – if you have a drink, designate a driver or take a cab,” he added. Mr. Seales also reminded motorists who speed that they now face hefty fine due to new regulations under the Traffic Law.
“Since the introduction of the new Traffic Law, speeding fines are incremental,” he said. “That means that the basic fine increases by $20 for every mile over the speed limit. For example, if you are ticketed for travelling at 50mph in a 25mph limit, you will be fined $500. If you are also found to be using your cell phone and not wearing a seatbelt your fine increases to $800. “If you are ticketed for exceeding the speed limit in a school zone, while the lights are flashing, each mile you travel over the limit will increase the fine by $40.”
Those who are speeding at double the limit, for example at 51mph in a 25mph zone, face six months in jail. “That’s how seriously we take road safety in this country,” Mr. Seales said.
“We want everyone in the Cayman Islands to have a safe and enjoyable festive season. So, if you want to play your part in reducing deaths and injuries on the roads, or you want to avoid having to pay hundreds of dollars in fines, join us by playing your part in our Stay Alive initiative to make Cayman’s roads safer for everyone,” he said.
During last year’s six-week road safety campaign, called Operation Christmas Crackers, three people died in car collisions, police arrested 62 drivers for drink driving and ticketed another 140 for speeding. As well as the three fatal collisions, police dealt with another 146 crashes during that period.