A month-long traffic crackdown during the holiday period ended with more than two dozen arrests for drunken driving and hundreds of other citations for traffic offenses.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service reported Thursday that 27 DUI arrests were made between early December 2016 through Jan. 2, 2017.
In addition to the drunk drivers, police cited 30 people for speeding, gave 39 tickets for cellphone driving, 32 tickets for failing to wear seat belts and 65 citations for expired registration.
Another 10 arrests were made for driving while disqualified.
RCIPS Sgt. Lenford Butler credited the work of many volunteer organizations during the holiday season for their help in putting together anti-drunk driving initiatives, encouraging people not to drink and drive.
The RCIPS traffic unit also increased its presence, partly through the use of volunteer special constables for traffic enforcement duties.
“Generally speaking, we had a quiet New Year’s Eve with no serious accidents,” Sgt. Butler said. “I am glad to say this all appears to have had an impact.”
The 2016 holiday campaign marked the first time the RCIPS traffic unit has supplemented its ranks with a significant number of volunteers.
Fifteen special constables with the RCIPS, who are unpaid volunteer officers, have joined the regular police traffic unit to staff roadblocks, traffic checkpoints and perform routine traffic stops over the next few weeks.
Special Constables Commandant Chris Duggan said the volunteer unit has been assisting police officers with traffic patrols over the last year or so, and members have undergone some training in the use of radar guns and breathalyzer machines.
“We’ve identified about 15 officers who all went through the training [for traffic enforcement].” Mr. Duggan said, adding it is probably a bit more complex than most people might think.
“It’s a whole process writing up a simple traffic ticket so it can go to court.”
The volunteer constables have been getting some “on-the-street” experience as well since late last year, but Mr. Duggan said this is the first time they have been used in a holiday enforcement effort.
The RCIPS Traffic Management Unit has conducted some form of holiday traffic crackdown every year for at least the past decade.
Newly appointed unit inspector Ian Yearwood said the public will generally notice more roadblocks and other high-visibility interdiction efforts. Those efforts are expected to continue through 2017.