Traffic accidents back on rise in Cayman

Success of 2012 not continued

After a particularly good year in 2012 on Cayman Islands roadways, it seems local drivers are falling back into old habits.

Both the total number of traffic-related offences and total number of vehicle accidents went up during the first six months of 2013, compared with the first six months of the previous year.

There were just more than 3,000 traffic offences between January and June 2013, compared to just about 2,400 for the first half of 2012 – a 25 per cent increase. Total traffic accidents surged by 21 per cent for the first half of this year, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

The number of fatal accidents stayed the same between 2012 and 2013 so far, according to police statistics.

There was a sharp drop in the number of speeding and drink driving tickets issued by local police during the first half of 2013. DUI citations dropped by 27 per cent, while speeding tickets dropped by nearly half.

Meanwhile, drivers cited for failing to wear seat belts more than doubled in the first half of 2013, and a massive number of drivers – more than 650 – were cited for talking on cell phones while driving.

The police service reported more hopeful traffic safety numbers during the previous year.

During the calendar year 2012, the number of fatal traffic accidents in the Cayman Islands, as well as the total number of crashes along the local roadways, declined.

In addition, the number of auto-pedestrian accidents in Cayman dropped sharply to the lowest level seen in the past five years. These figures, tabulated in the government’s recently released Compendium of Statistics, were for the full 12 months between January and December 2012 and were compared to the five previous years.

According to accident records, there were 1,072 total accidents in the Cayman Islands, involving 1,204 vehicles. Cayman had already reported nearly 700 accidents in the first half of 2013.

Fatal car accidents hit their lowest level in the past four years during 2012. Five people died in local road accidents last year, compared to 10 in 2011 and seven in 2010.

Also, pedestrians were hit at a much lower rate last year, with a reported three accidents involving cars and pedestrians for all of 2012. There were 14 auto-pedestrian wrecks in 2011.