Rotary Central to launch anti-speeding campaign

Police will be supporting Rotary Central's upcoming anti-speeding campaign. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

Rotary Central Grand Cayman is launching an anti-speeding campaign in response to reports of large numbers of people exceeding speed limits.

The ‘Slow Down Cayman’ campaign will highlight the human element of deaths and serious injuries caused by road accidents, a press release from Rotary Central stated.

Colin Fawkes, president of Rotary Central, said the recent surge in speeding and reckless behaviour on Cayman’s roads has alarmed the service club and police.

Clockwise from left, Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne, Deputy Commissioner of Police Kurt Walton, Inspector Dwayne Jones, head of Traffic and Roads Policing Unit, and Superintendent Uniform and Specialist Operations Brad Ebanks, meet via teleconference with past president Susie Bodden and president Colin Fawkes of Rotary Central to discuss the ‘Slow Down Cayman’ campaign. – Photo: Submitted

“During this period of lockdown and curfews, some drivers have used the lack of traffic to drive at significantly excessive speeds,” he said. “People need to remember if they are driving dangerously they are putting lives at risk – speed limits apply no matter how busy or quiet the roads are.”

Fawkes added, “Roads will become progressively busier in the coming weeks and the reality is that if people continue to drive at unsafe speeds above the limits, or faster than is sensible for the conditions, people will continue to be hurt or killed as a result.”

Rotary said the road-safety campaign aims to educate drivers on how excessive speeding can result in serious and often fatal road accidents.

This will be the third road-safety campaign that Rotary Central has organised. The first initiative, in 2017, was ‘Share the Road’, followed the next year by a national-awareness campaign highlighting the correct use and importance of disabled parking spots, ‘Not Your Spot’.

Susie Bodden, past president of Rotary Central, said the upcoming campaign would be more hard-hitting than the previous initiatives.

“Speeding is the leading factor in death and injuries on our roads,” she said. “However, most drivers often resist the idea that the way they drive puts themselves and others in danger.

“There is a tendency for complacency, over-confidence and lower perception of risk when driving on familiar roads, people believe a crash won’t happen to them. The everyday excuses drivers use to justify their speeding – such as ‘it was safe speeding’, ‘just a little over’ or ‘I was running late’ – have no place on our roads.”

She added, “Ultimately, there is no excuse for speeding because it can have tragic and life-changing consequences. The campaign will aim to confront drivers by getting them to see the outcome of their actions.”

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has pledged its support for the Rotary campaign. Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne said in the release there had been a sharp rise in the number of speeding motorists on Cayman’s roads.

“Considering that the maximum speed limit across the islands is 50mph – which is not a target speed – it is very concerning how often our officers are detecting cars travelling at exceptionally high speeds. Since May 15th, our Traffic and Roads Policing Unit has issued over 600 speeding tickets, with the top speed recorded at 102 mph,” he said. “While there are a lot of changes in our lives at the moment, the risks from speeding have not changed.”

In 2018, there were eight motor-vehicle accidents in the Cayman Islands that resulted in the deaths of eight people. In 2019, there were eight accidents that resulted in the deaths of nine people. To date this year, there have been three accidents resulting in three deaths.

“One death on our roads is one too many,” Fawkes said. “These road toll statistics are not just a number, it’s someone’s mother, father, child, friend. We’re asking the people of the Cayman Islands to remember the lives lost on Cayman roads due to speeding and to slow down.”

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