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.