Illegal refueling, dangerous trailers trouble Cayman roads

Direct vehicle fueling from tankers is occurring, unregulated, at Cayman Islands homes, parking lots and along the side of the road, putting people obtaining the fuel and the general public in danger, the Petroleum Inspectorate warned last week.

“Fueling in unapproved locations is an inherently dangerous practice that puts lives, property and the environment at risk,” Chief Petroleum Inspector Duke Munroe said, adding that the vehicles used in the roadside fueling – called road tank-wagons – are not fitted to handle fuel spills or fires.

The trucks are typically licensed to provide gasoline and diesel only to industrial and retail petrol stations which have storage tanks and protective measures in place. Mobile fueling is allowed in designated locations with proper warning signs, fire extinguishers and other safety devices and procedures in place.

“Gasoline is extremely hazardous,” Mr. Munroe said. “If not handled properly in a controlled and regulated area, the consequences can be dire.”

Fueling vehicles from road tank-wagons is allowed at commercial, industrial sites or government-approved locations, and usually only in relation to the business being carried on there, Mr. Munroe said. It is not done as a “public service.” Operators performing on-site fueling must comply with local fire codes and other safety requirements regulated by the Petroleum Inspectorate.

Illegal trailers

Meanwhile, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is warning drivers about unlicensed trailers attached to the backs of trucks, which have caused several recent accidents.
RCIPS Inspector Adrian Barnett said Friday that while all Cayman residents might not be aware of it, the Traffic Law requires all trailers to be registered, inspected and licensed in the same way as cars and trucks.

This licensing requirement “has not been enforced consistently in the past,” Mr. Barnett said.

“We have had a number of traffic operations in the last couple of weeks during which we have not issued tickets, but have been just talking to motorists instead, and informing them about the law. Very few, if any, of those we have stopped have registered or licensed their trailers.”

Mr. Barnett said RCIPS would begin ticketing those unlicensed trailers in the coming weeks.