Wrecked cars often left by roadside

The remains of a two-car smash greeted late-morning commuters along Crewe Road in George Town on Tuesday. 

More than 12 hours before, the two vehicles had collided head-on, sending both drivers to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police and medical crews responded, statements were taken and the wrecked vehicles were moved onto the grassy area opposite the Owen Roberts International Airport property. They were eventually towed later that day. 

A similar scene greeted motorists along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway near Batabano Road on Aug. 14. In that case, a vehicle had driven into a pole in what police reported as a suspected DUI crash. The vehicle was left there until Aug. 18. 

The reason these vehicles are staying on their respective accident scenes is because the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is not responsible for towing them. 

“We do not have the budget to tow these vehicles,” RCIPS spokeswoman Jacqueline Carpenter said. “It is the responsibility of the owner to have the vehicle removed.” 

In the case of what the police consider to be a “major” accident, with fatal injuries, a large number of vehicles involved, etc., the police will tow the cars to an impound lot where they are kept as evidence. In those instances, police have the legal right to close the road and investigate the crash “in situ” for as long as is required. 

However, if the crash is not considered a major incident, even if there is serious damage to the vehicle or vehicles involved and the cars are not drivable, the general policy is to move the cars out of the public right of way, clean up debris left from the crash, and leave them. 

“We’re not a towing service; it’s just not within our budget,” Ms. Carpenter said. 

If the car is left at the crash scene, it will eventually be towed by the Department of Environmental Health at the owner’s expense. 

While the number of fatal car accidents has sharply increased so far in 2015, the total number of wrecks on Cayman Islands roads has gone down.According to police records, overall traffic accidents declined by 15 percent in the first half of 2015. 

Late-morning commuters along Crewe Road were greeted Tuesday by the remains of a serious two-car crash from the night before. - Photo: Brent Fuller

Late-morning commuters along Crewe Road were greeted Tuesday by the remains of a serious two-car crash from the night before. – Photo: Brent Fuller

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  1. We don’t have the money in our budget, that is the only spoken word now-days from government departments.
    Ever thought, that if the persons who met in an accident and is not dead, then the vehicles should be removed to the Department of Environmental compound, where the owners are given a seven day notice to remove them from there, and if they are not removed from the compound; there is something called "Ticket" and "Seizure for auction". General policies? They want change; and it is nothing about police being a towing service, its about using your own imitative and seeing that the vehicles are removed from roadside and from peoples property.

  2. It seems like the more money we give the RCIPS the less money they have to do the work that they are being asked to do. Did I see an article recently where the RCIPS said that the reason for less traffic enforcement is also because of a lack of resources/funds?
    This is what happens when there is no real accountability in the system.