Tinted windows, unregistered vehicles and covered license plates should all come under stricter local legislation, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Commissioner David Baines told lawmakers in the Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee last week.
“You might want to think about where cars are uninsured, and not couponed, they become forfeit and disposable under the law and you’ll see a significant change,” Mr. Baines said.
Both government backbench MLA Anthony Eden and independent opposition MLA Ezzard Miller voiced separate concerns during the committee’s debate on the police budget about traffic safety and neighborhood nuisances on the roads.
“People drive like mad people,” Mr. Eden said. “I’m doing, like, 40, 41, 42 [miles per hour] and they’re crossing me like they’re standing still,” Mr. Eden said.
Mr. Miller said, in his district of North Side, it seems as though the same “half-dozen” people are committing the same traffic offenses almost on a daily basis.
“Noboby seems to be able to get any control over these people,” Mr. Miller said. “The tint on the windows, the same thing happen[s]. Do we need to amend the Traffic Law to say, after a number of offenses, repeat offenses such as tint and mufflers, we confiscate the car?”
“That will sort it out,” Commissioner Baines said.
In addition, the commissioner said government should consider denying import and business licenses for companies who put tint on car windows, other than those legitimately authorized to do so. He also suggested that the sale of license plate covers, which can prevent police officers from seeing the number plate of an offending vehicle, should be banned.
“[Tint and covered number plates] are adding to our issues,” Mr. Baines said. “We fill bins with enforcement and they go and buy another one.”
Mr. Eden questioned whether, since the effective elimination of the RCIPS Traffic Enforcement Unit during the government’s 2010/11 budget year, officers were able to keep up with these issues. Statistics released by the RCIPS have shown a sharp drop in the overall number of traffic citations between 2010 and 2014. The numbers started trending back up this year.
“[We] fully understand the frustration and also the added danger,” Mr. Baines said. “We have been raising programs of enforcement activity … we routinely do between 550 and 560 traffic enforcement tickets a month.”
To help alleviate officers’ workload, Mr. Baines said the RCIPS has begun traffic enforcement efforts with the special constabulary. Special constables are unpaid, volunteer officers who work in certain capacities with the police.
Mr. Baines said the special constabulary unit would focus on traffic issues such as covered license plates, tinted windows and speeding.