The Christmas season has started, and with it comes a warning from the National Drug Council not to drink and drive.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, which has partnered with the NDC in its Designated Driver and Purple Ribbon Pledge programmes, started its Christmas crackdown this month with high-visibility patrols and traffic exercises.
“Success would be having a safe and uneventful season, free of fatalities and DUIs,” NDC prevention and information officer Ivan McLean told the Cayman Compass in response to queries about the effectiveness of the council’s efforts.
“We hope to achieve a high participation of bars, restaurants and clubs, as well as looking for a larger number of [Purple Ribbon Bus] riders on New Year’s Eve.”
As many look forward to the holiday season and all the related festivities, McLean said the team at the NDC is hoping the public makes use of the programmes available to keep Cayman’s road users safe.
He said that, last year between 31 Dec. and 1 Jan., from 9pm to 4am, 1,637 people used the New Year’s Eve Purple Ribbon Bus, during which there were no vehicular fatalities and only three DUIs recorded. The NDC is hoping to better those numbers this year.
“Partnerships allow for the wider public to receive the message and this year it is our hope to create change in our communities, [stressing] the importance of being more intentional about their actions, and by this; increase the number of persons who decide to take the Purple Ribbon Pledge, designate a driver and take the free Purple Ribbon Bus on New Year’s Eve,” McLean said. “We want everyone, residents and visitors alike, to ‘Arrive Alive’ this holiday season.”
There have been 28 DUI arrests since the start of December.
Over that time, officers issued 132 tickets for tint, 109 for speeding and 17 for expired registration. They also recorded 14 traffic offence reports, such as for no insurance, no certificate of roadworthiness, expired licences, or excessive speed, which require individuals to appear in court.
“The RCIPS and NDC believe in safety as a priority, and campaigns such as this one [police Christmas crackdown] allows for a level of collaboration, strengthening and emphasising the overarching message. This level of engagement within our communities encourages safety for all road users,” McLean said.
He said over the years the NDC has seen a steady increase in the number of riders on the Purple Ribbon Bus, and in recent years it has doubled the number of restaurants, bars and nightclubs signed up to be partners in the Designated Driver Programme.
He added there has been a “noticeable” increase in the number of corporate sponsors whose contributions continue to make the programmes possible.
For more information, visit www.ndc.ky or email [email protected]