Getting a $150 ticket for talking on your hand-held cell phone while driving isn’t the only new or increased traffic related fine that will take effect later this month.
The Traffic Law and accompanying regulations officially take effect in the Cayman Islands on 21 September. In addition to raising old fines and creating new ones, the law also adds new driving offences such an “inconsiderate” or “
The regulations to the law as well as the updated Cayman Islands Road Code are set to be released on 20 September, one day before
they take effect.
In general, traffic-related fines that were $20 have been increased under the regulations to $100. Fines that were $25 have been increased to $200.
Some examples of this include: parking within 45 feet of a
pedestrian crossing will result in a $100 fine; the fine for failing to comply with a police signal in cases where they are directing traffic, or failing to give way to a police car will be $200. This is the same for an ambulance or an emergency vehicle.
The charge for police records will rise from $10 to $25 as well under the new regulations.
Drivers that park in a disabled parking space will be fined $100. The other new fine is for the improper use of a cell phone while operating a vehicle.
The Traffic Law creates criminal offences where none existed before for “inconsiderate” or “careless” driving in instances where another person is killed.
Vehicle Licensing Director David Dixon said the new law allows a court the option to convict for the offence of “careless” driving, where there is not sufficient evidence of causing death by dangerous or reckless driving.
“Dangerous driving refers to [a] driver that caused a road death due to high speed and the manner of road driving without taking into consideration the conditions on the road and traffic, etc.,” Mr. Dixon said. “Death by careless driving or inconsiderate driving may happen in a low speed situation, for example when using a cell phone.”
The section of the law that deals with the new offences reads: “A person who drives a vehicle or animal on a road without care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons, and by so doing causes the death of another person commits an offence.”
The charge of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving carries a maximum $10,000 fine and up to seven years in prison upon conviction. In addition, the guilty party could have their driving licence taken away for three years or longer, depending on any jail sentence received.
The bill also creates a separate and new criminal offence for disqualified drivers who cause fatal accidents; for instance, drivers who do not have insurance or updated coupons on their vehicle.
Again, the offence would carry up to a seven year imprisonment term plus fines upon conviction.