‘Racing’ DVDL inspector case goes to prosecutor

This Toyota Supra, driven by an inspector at the Department of Vehicle and Drivers' Licensing, was traveling in the outbound lanes of Crewe Road when it struck a light pole and ended up in the inbound lanes on July 11. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The traffic case involving a Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing vehicle inspector who crashed a car he was test driving on July 11 has gone to local prosecutors for a ruling.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service confirmed that officers submitted a case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration last week. It is now up to the Crown to determine whether any charges will be pursued.

As of last month, the vehicle inspector was still working at the department following a brief period of absence for medical leave, DVDL Director David Dixon said.

Civil service officials, including Mr. Dixon, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Ministry of Planning Chief Officer Alan Jones and Deputy Chief Officer Tristan Hydes, did not respond to queries sent on Aug. 28 about the vehicle inspector’s status.

The RCIPS and the DVDL are conducting separate investigations into the midday accident during which a 1996 Toyota Supra vaulted a median on Crewe Road and went into the opposite lanes of traffic after knocking down a power pole.

The police and the vehicle’s owner, fire services fleet manager Johnny Salas, have confirmed that a department vehicle inspector was driving the car when it crashed. A witness, Meloney Syms, who is the Cayman Islands government’s chief of protocol, said the inspector was “zigzagging” in and out of lanes on Crewe Road and appeared to be “racing” in the Toyota.

On July 15, Mr. Dixon responded to questions about the incident and the inspector’s status with the department. He returned to work on July 18.

“Our internal investigations continue and until such time [as they are completed], we cannot make any presumption as to the inspector’s innocence or guilt,” Mr. Dixon said.

“The appropriate action will be taken when that process is completed. The vehicle inspector remains as a member of staff with the DVDL.”

During a Cayman Compass interview on July 11, Mr. Salas said he was told by another DVDL inspector at the accident scene that vehicles are typically not taken off DVDL property during inspections.

“[The] inspector that approached me after the accident told me he couldn’t understand why the vehicle needed to be on the road,” Mr. Salas said. “I am a mechanic. I wouldn’t take a vehicle to the licensing department if it wasn’t functional.”

Mr. Dixon said section 63 of the Cayman Islands Traffic Law (2011 Revision) allows for DVDL inspectors to test vehicles “in any place and time.”

“DVDL has and continues to test vehicles on public road[s] since the 1960s,” he said.

Mr. Dixon said no further comment would be made regarding the July 11 accident until the police and licensing department’s internal investigations were completed. He did not give a date for when that might occur.

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  1. Thank God the Inspector’s life was speared; but surely something happened that cause the car to speed out of control and cause such damages.
    Sometimes we do not know, and can only listen to what the officer has to say, because truly speaking, he was the man behind the wheel.

  2. The only positive we have here is that the Inspector returned to work almost immediately. Following standard civil service protocol, if the police proceed with prosection he will be suspended on full pay until the case is decided and sentencing is completed. This means if found guilty, he will have been rewarded for staying at home for some months at the taxpayer’s expense during which period someone else will also have to be paid for doing his job.
    A review of the civil service regulations in this scenario (which is becoming increasingly commonplace) is badly needed. Either pay is stopped immediately and refunded if there is a not guilty verdict, or the suspended employee if found guilty is required to repay the salary he received while suspended.