October 22, 2020

Cross-agency partnership creates brighter lines for Cayman Islands road safety

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Royal Cayman Islands Police Services Auxiliary Constable Fabian O’Connor is on a mission to make the roads safer and more accessible for drivers and pedestrians.

AC O’Connor (aka the Dancing Policeman) formed a partnership with National Road Authority () to enhance public safety by improving road markings and traffic signage on the waterfront and central . Over the last couple months, AC O’Connor and NRA’s Supervisor of Signs & Lines, Delroy Myles, secured permission from Traffic Management Panel (TMP) to paint direction signs, chevrons, double yellow lines, and brighten the stop marks throughout central George Town. Once they started on the roadworks, it took and NRA just two Sundays to complete the project.

RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne said “AC O’Connor’s collaboration with NRA is a great example of how a beat officer has a view from the ground of what needs to be done, and can work with other agencies to address it together.” I applaud his energy and his initiative, which is making a big difference at the George Town waterfront.”

This all came out of AC O’Connor’s desire to educate hundreds of thousands of customers that use the roads in the middle of the capital during peak hours. Taxi and tour bus drivers made suggestions, and since AC O’Connor walks the streets every day, he noticed many traffic infractions. “Rather than simply give a ticket, I worked with tourist, taxi, tour bus and local drivers on how to improve the road safety,” he said.

“An essential part of my job is to educate my customers and use my discretion. So I explain to drivers who park within the 45 feet of a crosswalk or on the chevrons how they are blocking the sight of oncoming cars and the danger this creates for all people using our roads.”

AC O’Conner explained that he got the idea when working at the South Terminal and seeing drivers park along the sides of the streets. “I would put traffic cones down to prevent drivers from parking, but this proved to be cumbersome when directing traffic because from time to time I had to move the cones.”

“So I contacted at NRA, and he and I walked the streets to see how we could make further improvements – from painting double yellow lines on the roads to improving the crosswalks – so that drivers were better able to see pedestrians as they crossed, or knew where to park or even what direction to proceed. We in the Cayman Islands drive on the left, but we have visitors who operate on the right,” AC O’Connor said.

Mr Myles was grateful for the collaboration with RCIPS not only because the of the public safety aspect but because of the safety it created while working on this project. “There should not be any confusion with drivers now with the brightened direction lines and arrows. Drivers will know what lanes they should be in when exiting to say North Church Street, and they should know not to enter a one-way street.”

“It was a great project and I never felt so safe while working on this. Drivers slowed down when they saw us working on Sundays,” he added

In fact, AC O’ Connor expressed his thanks to the public and many of George Town business owners who showed their appreciation by providing RCIPS and NRA with food and water as they executed the roadworks.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said he was pleased to see the inter-agency partnership. “A common goal for Civil Servants is to work together and engage the community. I am grateful for the thoughtful manner in which Mr Myles and AC O’Connor joined forces and resources of their respective departments to make George Town safer for all road users.”

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