With just under a week left in 2006, Cayman is on pace to shatter its record of the number of people killed on its roads during the calendar year.
Two more less-than-20-years-old roadsters shuffled off this mortal coil recently, bringing the total dead guys in cars to 14 for the year. Staggering when you think that Hurricane Ivan was only blamed – officially – for one death.
I recently heard tell that Arden McLean would like to place a disproportionately large amount of the blame for accidents on our roads to ex-pats; I think he said something to the effect of “people who come from Canada and the US” who aren’t used to driving on the left hand side of the road. This proves two things: Arden McLean’s grip on reality is loose at best. And he’s an idiot.
Actually, you know why there are so many accidents on our roads? I’ll give you a few reasons: the worst roads in the Caribbean are right here in Cayman; everyone talks on cell phones while attempting to navigate the worst roads in the Caribbean; there are very few traffic/flow control systems in place for people to navigate the worst roads while talking on cell phones; and there are inexperienced youngsters who’s IDIOT parents allow them to modify their cars for speed, thereby endangering themselves and everyone else who is trying to navigate the worst roads in the Caribbean in the absence of effective traffic control measures – while talking on their cell phones.
I don’t have any statistics to back up my next statement, but I’ll say it anyway. I’d be willing to bet that a majority of the recent road kill involved accidents of new drivers or drivers who had some sort of modification on their cars. And I’d be willing to bet that the accidents had nothing to do with nationality – as much as with stupid kids doing stupid things and winding up dead or having killed someone else.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Cayman’s roads are very efficient and effective killing grounds for the youngsters of Cayman; but who’s to blame? The government and the parents.
In the absence of our pathetically myopic government actually prohibiting modified vehicles on our roads, and in the absence of our “leaders” actually adequately repairing our roads, parents must – MUST – control their children. They must NOT allow their children to modify their cars for speed or performance. And if there is any question whatsoever as to the child’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, then that child should not operate that vehicle.
Furthermore, there is no need whatsoever – with the exception of ambulances and fire trucks – for any car to be able to reach speeds of more than 50 miles per hour; especially if that car is being driving by a kid with no experience and no real appreciation for or understanding of the laws of physics governing the activity.
This can be legislated. You drive faster than 50 mph; you don’t drive in Cayman any more. Your car is seized and your privilege revoked. And the government should use whatever extraordinary means they need to clamp down on this. Cameras, speed traps… whatever.
You talk on a cell phone while you're driving, you lose your privilege for a year.
This island is too small and too congested to have idiots on the road who don’t understand that speed kills and the incidents of accidents increase exponentially when you are distracted while talking on the phone.
So accidents will continue to happen and kids will continue to die, and we will continue to mourn, and our government will continue to turn a blind eye, call it a “tragedy” and form safe driving groups that ultimately do little good.
This problem must be legislated – period; because it’s obvious that the parents aren’t doing enough to ebb the tide of young dead bodies being pulled from twisted masses of metal that used to be cars. And NO ONE seems to want to put their cell phones down while navigating these crappy roadways.
And it’s even more obvious that the Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council and MattSafe – while admirable in theory – are making arguments that are falling on deaf ears. If this were not the case, Cayman’s tally of dead kids in cars would not continue to increase each year.
The time for pussy-footing around the problem is over. Idiotic ministers can blame ex-pats all they want, but placing blame won’t keep people alive. It’s time to take car keys out of the hands of people who should not be driving – young and old alike.
And if our government doesn’t take action to eliminate the problems of people killing themselves in cars on crappy roads populated with drivers who don’t pay attention, they may want to loosen the immigration controls. If Cayman kids keep killing themselves at this rate, you’re going to need all the ex-pats you can get to keep Cayman in business.