Speeders gripe about hefty fines

Several drivers have had to dig into their pockets after being ticketed for speeding down North Sound Road.

Several people have contacted the Caymanian Compass to express their surprise that the speed limit is only 25 miles per hour on the section of road north of Shedden Road in Grand Cayman, considering it has four lanes and a median.

The National Roads Authority said via e-mail that the posted speed limit is 25 mph and not 40 mph because of “The high number of turning movements (right turns especially) in and out of businesses along that stretch”.

In March 2010, the Compass published a story featuring a local attorney who said that drivers who had been ticketed for speeding along a 25 mph section of North Sound Way may have been fined illegally because the speed limit signs had not been gazetted.

Last week, the roads authority said, “By default the speed limit of the road is 25 mph if no sign is posted.”

The Cayman Islands Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing agreed with the roads authority that the default speed limit in Grand Cayman is 25 mph.

The roads authority has not responded to the Compass’ follow-up request about where in the law or regulations is the default speed limit set for 25 mph.

The roads authority did say it believes the speed limit on that section of North Sound Road should be 35 mph. “We are seeking to increase the speed limit to 35 mph, but it requires gazettal before we can post it,” according to the e-mail.

In the same e-mail, the roads authority said it is also still seeking to decrease the speed limit along a pedestrian-heavy section of West Bay Road, an idea that has been discussed for several years. The roads authority said that plan is “Part of a larger speed limit study we conducted across the Island” that needs to be put out for public review.

In September 2012, the Legislative Assembly passed regulations accompanying the new Traffic Law, 2011, that set the speed limits in Cayman Brac.

At the same time, legislators approved new traffic ticket regulations that change the way speeding fines are calculated.

At the moment, the usual fine for speeding is $20 for every one mile per hour over the speed limit, with a maximum fine of $500. That means drivers caught going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone can be fined $300.

Under the old regulations, the usual fine for speeding was $100 up to 10 mph above the speed limit, plus $100 for every additional 10 mph, up to $500. That means drivers caught going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone could be fined $200.

Under the new regulations, drivers going 45 mph in a 25 mph zone can be fined $400, compared the old regulations where they could have been fined $200.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. After watching people drive around in the dark or rain without headlights on I checked the most recent version of the road code. I was disappointed, but not surprised, that the government has done a pathetic job articulating rules it intends to enforce. There is not even mention of the scale of speed (MPH vs. KMPH) other than an example school zone sign with MPH on it. When you get behind tourists going 40 KMPH (about 25MPH) instead of 40MPH, no wonder people overtake on West Bay road. Stop using signs from a place that uses KM and get some similar to those in the US. Might not be a bad practice to borrow some codes from other countries for ideas to make the the roads safer here as well.

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  2. I would agree that I feel myself like an idiot driving on North Sound Road south of Butterfield roundabout at 25 mph. Everybody around is driving at 40, overtaking, sometimes even honking. In such situation is can be more dangerous to drive with speed significantly different from everybody else. Solution? – Change or enforce. 25 mph doesn’t seem right for that stretch, especially in comparison with 40 mph in West bay road, should be the opposite way in my opinion. Enforce? Enforced mean REALLY enforced, not picking two or three random driver a month, but spending some reasonable time there (a week?) ticketing each and every speeding car. This will educate people.

    I fully support request of Compass regarding this mysterious 25 mph default limit. I am not against that, I think that with driving habits of local drivers speed limit is the only thing which is between death and car bodyworks. But, I hate situations when somebody said something and you need to adhere to it, but it is not even properly written down anywhere.

    Also regarding West Bay Road – half installed pedestrian crossing – this is very dangerous place now. Because for pedestrian it looks like a pedestrian crossing, while for drivers it looks like unfinished pedestrian crossing. It is more dangerous, than if there was nothing at all there. Now pedestrians feel safe, while the should not. I don’t understand, why signs are covered with. At least they should open signs for drivers to properly see that there is crossing ahead. Now (especially driving at 40 mph) you don’t get warning it time. It is just dangerous as it is now.

    Also wanted to

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  3. Firstly, simply putting a MPH sticker on the road signs would fix the confusion. How much could that actually cost? 500 to no more than 1000 dollars for the entirety of cayman’s road signs.

    Second.

    There should only be 3 speeds.

    50 for highway
    35 for town roadways
    and 15 for school crossings.

    End of story.

    This would remove speed confusion.

    Police simply as the person what type of road are you driving on It can only be highway, town road, or school zone. Then there is no excuse to be speeding or going under the speed limit.

    But of course, all of this is too simple. So, trash these ideas.

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  4. Those speedsters who gripe about the hefty fines for speeding, fully know what to do to avoid the hefty fines. Perhaps they should also consider the danger involved with speeding. The lives saved could include their own.

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