With drivers from all corners of the world, where traffic laws can vary a great deal, and an increasing amount of new road construction occurring across the island, drivers in Cayman should be alert and exercise care when getting around. The following ‘rules of the road’ should be observed to ensure the safety of all persons sharing the road.
As a means of controlling traffic flow, roundabouts have proven very popular and there are now over two dozen located around Grand Cayman! If you are unfamiliar with roundabouts and want to avoid an accident, then please take note of the following rules.
Cayman’s first three-way roundabout is now up and running! Located next to Camana Bay the roundabout links the new stretch of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway with the underpass and leads on to the existing highway. Exciting as this is it is important to use precaution when driving on this new type of roundabout for the first time, and understand the rules fully. Know your intended exit as you approach and ensure you are in the correct lane.
Keep in the left-hand lane if taking the first exit and indicate left.
Keep in the middle lane if driving straight ahead and follow the lane marked with a straight-through arrow. Indicate left just before you exit.
If taking a subsequent exit use the right-hand lane and indicate right, switching to your left indicator just before reaching your exit. When moving from the inner lane to outer lane prior to exiting look over your left shoulder to ensure someone is not overtaking you on the outside.
Upon approaching or entering a roundabout, it is important to give your full attention. Be aware of the traffic around you and don’t just rely on your mirrors – you must account for your blind spots! Here are a few key rules to remember:
The turning lane in the centre of some roads is designed to help drivers turn across traffic, or merge into oncoming traffic. The lane should never be used for overtaking, and it is important to always look for approaching traffic.
Under the traffic law, when a school bus has its lights flashing and has stopped to allow children to get on or off, drivers are NOT permitted to pass the bus. This applies to vehicles approaching the bus from the opposite lane as well as those behind the bus.
If you approach a bus that is letting children off, stop at least 20 feet away and wait until the bus has pulled away before you continue driving.
Additionally, you should pay attention to the 15mph speed limits in dedicated school zones. At certain times of the day (between 7.30am-8.15am and 2pm-3.15pm approx), warning lights flash outside the schools, indicating to drivers that they need to reduce their speed to 15mph or less as there is an increased likelihood of children crossing the roads. The fines for speeding in a school zone are severe.
Cayman Islands law (Traffic Law 2003 (revision) section 70) states that any child travelling in a motor vehicle must wear a seatbelt and if under the age of 14 must sit in the rear of the vehicle.
The law also states that a rear facing child’s car seat must not be fitted in a seat with a front airbag. Children’s car seats can be bought at The Baby Shoppe, Little Darlings and sometimes at Priced Right and Cost-U-Less.
In accordance with Cayman law, a CI$150 fine is automatically issued to anyone who is seen talking on a mobile phone (unless it is hands-free) while driving.
In section 78 of the Traffic Law 2011, it states: “in order to use your cellular device while driving it must be “hands free” (securely mounted to the vehicle) with no more than one action of pressing a button to accept and end a call.
You are authorized to use your phone while driving if you are calling 911 to report an emergency, especially if it is unsafe or impractical to stop and park.
Finally, you may use your phone if your vehicle has come to a complete stop and is removed from the normal flow of traffic. It is illegal to use your mobile phone if you have stopped at a traffic light.