An award-winning member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is working overtime.
Auxiliary Constable Fabian O’Connor, who won the Diversity Award at this year’s Police Service Awards, has entered into a partnership with the National Roads Authority to improve the traffic signs and road markings on the waterfront and in central George Town.
Mr. O’Connor, known as the “Dancing Policeman” for the energetic way he ushers pedestrians and traffic on Harbour Drive at the waterfront, has worked with the NRA’s supervisor of Signs and Lines, Delroy Myles, to paint direction signs, chevrons, double yellow lines and brightened stop marks in downtown George Town.
The pair secured permission from the Traffic Management Panel to make those improvements, and they were able to complete the task of brightening the signs and lines over two Sundays.
“AC O’Connor’s collaboration with NRA is a great example of how a beat officer has a view from the ground of what needs to be done, and can work with other agencies to address it together,” said Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne. “I applaud his energy and his initiative, which is making a big difference at the George Town waterfront.”
Mr. O’Connor walks the streets down by the waterfront every day and has seen all manner of traffic infractions, and he’s taken suggestions by taxi and bus drivers about how to make traffic safer.
“An essential part of my job is to educate my customers and use my discretion,” said Mr. O’Connor in a press release. “So I explain to drivers who park within the 45 feet of a crosswalk or on the chevrons how they are blocking the sight of oncoming cars and the danger this creates for all people using our roads.”
Over the course of his beat work outside the South Terminal, Mr. O’Connor has noticed drivers parking along both sides of the street, and he realized that many people just do not understand local regulations.
Often, he had to put down traffic cones to prevent people from parking in prohibited spaces, but then he would have to move the cones in order to direct traffic more efficiently. So he contacted Mr. Myles, and they put their heads together on the best way to make things clear to visitors and residents alike.
“He and I walked the streets,” said Mr. O’Connor, “To see how we could make further improvements – from painting double yellow lines on the roads to improving the crosswalks – so that drivers were better able to see pedestrians as they crossed or knew where to park or even what direction to proceed. We in the Cayman Islands drive on the left, but we have visitors who operate on the right.”
Now, Mr. O’Connor believes the brightened lines and arrows leave less room for misinterpretation, which ultimately makes the streets safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.
Acting Governor Franz Manderson said in the press release he was thrilled with the cooperative effort between the police and NRA.
“A common goal for civil servants is to work together and engage the community,” said Mr. Manderson. “I am grateful for the thoughtful manner in which Mr. Myles and AC O’Connor joined forces and resources of their respective departments to make George Town safer for all road users.”