Online poll: Less than 70 per cent know rules of using roundabouts

More than 30 per cent of the respondents to last week’s online poll did not know which vehicles have the right of way on one of Cayman’s roundabouts.  

Of the 722 respondents, only 503 – 69.7 per cent – knew that the vehicle in a roundabout approaching from the right has the right of way. 

“The lack of understanding about how to negotiate a roundabout here is appalling,” said one person. “There should be warning side saying “Enter at your own risk” before every one.” 

“Never mind about right-of way rule, people need to learn how use roundabout properly,” said someone else. “Here is the second worst country in world after France for driving roundabouts.” 

“Currently showing around 30 per cent wrong,” said another person. “I’m surprised it’s not higher. It would help if some mini roundabouts were clearer, especially at end of Dump Road.” 

Some people took objection to the wording of the poll. 

“To get a correct answer, you need to clarify if the person is entering a roundabout or already in the roundabout,” said one person. 

“Doesn’t it depend on whether I am waiting to get onto the roundabout or whether I am already in it,” asked someone else. 

“One gives way to oncoming traffic that has left the junction, coming from the right, so none of the above is technically correct,” said another respondent. 

Another large segment of respondents – 97 people or 13.4 per cent – vehicle that arrives at the junction first has the right of way and 74 people – 10.3 per cent – thought the vehicle on the left had the right of way. Sixteen people – 2.2 per cent – said whichever vehicle was largest had the right of way, while 
32 people – 4.4 per cent – admitted they had no 

“I do,” said one person. 

“Right of way to do what? Enter/Exit? One lane/two lanes?” commented someone else. 

“Does it matter? asked another person. “Few people know how to drive on the Island anyway.” 

“I really think Caymanians should have the right of way,” commented one respondent. “It’s just wrong for expats to get everything their way.” 


Next week’s poll question 

How much confidence do you have that the results of the upcoming election will correct the problems currently facing the Cayman Islands? 

A lot 

A little 

Not much 

None at all 

I don’t know

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  1. My personal favourite is the Chrissie Tomlinson roundabout at the end of Red Bay/Shamrock Road. The cars coming from Georgetown who turn right (to go towards Savannah via Shamrock Road) in the left lane…I have seen lots of ‘professional’ drivers make this error, bus drivers, taxi drivers etc.

    It really isn’t hard to forget/realise how this concept works. Admittedly it is hard to turn right on a roundabout when your clutching a cell phone in your hand, and as for indicating, woooah, that is advanced stuff there!

  2. There needs to be a poll on four way stops too! Really, whenever any of us renew our license, or apply for one, we should all have to take a quick test (multiple choice or something) on some basic stuff like who has the right of way at a stop sign, etc. It will act as a reminder to those that know, and might inform a few people too!

  3. There is a still much throw back from the days when there were few cars on the road.

    The 4way by the cricket field is a good example. If you are heading towards the intersection from the airport, making a right turn, you turn into the right line going towards the Red Cross. Most everyone crosses over and turns into the left lane. That lane is designated for those coming from Prep making a left turn heading towards the Red Cross. Both cars should be able to make their turns simultaneously and end up moving in the same direction side by side.

    Further one shoud not come to a dead stop on the throughway to let someone in from a side street. A nice courtesy for the car on the side street granted, but a dangerous move potentially causing a rear enders for all the cars behind the nice guy in front. Or alternatively you let one guy in but hold 3 to 7 cars up. Does not make any sense.

    It does not a high speed for people to get seriously injured so yes education on these types of things is important.

  4. This is not a surprising poll at all – I have experienced numerous times people not stopping when I have the right of way and just going right in front of me and then getting angry because I honked the horn. Another thing people don’t know how to use on the car is the indicator!!! It is a simple procedure and quite basic but one that a lot of drivers seem to ignore.

  5. We need a driving class for people to attend when they get convicted of any traffic offenses. This should be a mandatory requirement every 5 years for everyone holding a CI DL. This will ensure motorists on the road are still capable of driving and can help with revenue for the government.

  6. It gets better at christmas time though, at least people try to get into the spirit by illuminating those little amber light thingies at the corners of the vehicle…

    Try sitting at the roundabout where Red Bay Road/Shamrock Road meet the new E/W bypass. If you’re heading to Georgetown, many turning right (to Savannah) do not indicate which actually suggests they are going straight and continuing down the bypass to Hirst Road. I counted 23 cars before one actually indicated !

    The NRA needs to realise that we have a LOT of tourists on the roads and try to design in safe driving practices/remind users of the correct and courteous procedures as well as educate those from countries where the rules are different.

    I have had many tourists comment that they don’t want to try driving in Cayman which is a shame as while the tours are OK, renting a car and enjoying Cayman on Island Time is a much nicer experience.

    Interestingly there is a circumstance when you should give way to the Left? If you are already on the roundabout and your exit is blocked by stationary traffic – you should leave the area in front of other junctions clear just like a yellow box junction!

    The cost of
    – Lane Marking,
    – Signs (Get in lane, Indicate all right turns (Like at the airport), Give Way(Yield) to Right.
    – And even actually putting yellow crosshatch on some roundabouts (with explanatory signs)

    Might seem expensive, but anyone who has seen the statistics on the hidden costs to the economy of car accidents will realise that even a 1% reduction in accidents would pay for it all for the next 10 years.

    Plus if tourists feel safer on the roads, the economy grows, Jobs, Yadda Yadda

  7. I would bet everyone saying they have right of way aren’t correct, until you get past the basic premis that you should be in the left lane unless overtaking (yes even on a dual carriageway) you will have people undertaking on a dual carriageway, you will have people overtaking on a roundabout and basic confusion. I am qualified as an advanced driver and have UK police training on defensive driving, every day driving, and been here 20 years, I could pull someone up for an error every day, the one thing that stuck in all my training was assume the other driver is an idiot, can’t see you, or is a surgeon on the way to save someone’s life. In short stay alert, assume the worst, and don’t react (to idiot driving.)