After getting an earful from North Side residents and eastern district MLAs about traffic problems earlier this year, police ticketed more than a dozen people during a Sunday crackdown at Rum Point.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service reported 14 people were ticketed for speeding and two other drivers were nabbed for other traffic offenses during the operation. One man was arrested on an outstanding court warrant, police said.
“We’ve conducted a number of covert operations in the Rum Point area in the past, during which people were arrested for the possession of drugs,” Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks said. “However, this operation was more visible as its objective was to address road safety and other concerns raised by residents.”
Mr. Ebanks said issues such as double parking, loud music and drug use on boats anchored at the Rum Point beach area are also being addressed by police, and that further patrol operations will be carried out there in the future.
A number of traffic-related problems in North Side were raised by MLA Ezzard Miller during public meetings this spring. Mr. Miller blamed traffic violations on the same “half-dozen” people who he said were committing the same offenses on a daily basis.
“Nobody 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?”
During separate public meetings in North Side, East End and West Bay districts, residents also told police officers that problems with loud, dangerous motorcycles – some of which appeared to have been operating without license plates or registration – were affecting quality of life, and in some cases interfering with public enjoyment of local beaches.
Mr. Miller said his constituents have been reporting these matters to police for months, with apparently little result.
“These bikes are illegal,” Mr. Miller told Mr. Ebanks and other police officers attending a North Side district meeting. “They cannot be licensed and you can’t get insurance for them. How can police allow them on the road?”
Chief Inspector Ebanks said the issue is not so clear-cut.
The difficulty, in part, is in determining initially who is a legal bike operator and who is illegally using the road. Once a determination is made that the motorbike is being operated illegally, Mr. Ebanks said, police are then left with a difficult decision of whether to give chase.
“The risk that we have is if people pursue them, and the unfortunate happens, we could be held liable,” Mr. Ebanks said.