September 22, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Electric cars still not law


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Despite our story yesterday (14) headlining “Electric cars now part of the Cayman Islands new Traffic Bill regulations” it is not law. In fact the story laid out the “very complex legal issues” there were.

The story yesterday said there was still some more work to do on one of the twelve sections of the regulations.

Director of DVDL David Dixon reported that proper classification was just one of the issues evaluated. Public safety has also been of paramount concern: “Some electric cars have a different mechanical architecture to the typical vehicle with a combustion engine; therefore, a new protocol by our first responders had to take into consideration when dealing with accident.”

“Electric shock is an area of particular concern for responders. Today’s popular hybrids include batteries that surge with 500 volts of electricity, which is enough to cause serious injury or death. Though most cabling for such systems is coloured orange for easy discovery, the practice isn’t followed by all manufacturers. The batteries’ location, typically in the trunk, might also be unknown to responders. Another area of concern is fire. So while the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles continues to grow, it’s important for first responders to understand what informational resources are available to us and it is our job to ensure that everything falls in line,” he explained.

After much searching I could not find one instance of anyone having suffered injury or death from an electric shock from a car. Obviously it doesn’t mean it can’t happen but dotting “I’s” five times and crossing “t’s the same amount will mean the traffic bill regulations will never get to the LA to be made law.

Did this take the same time to get the first petrol automobile vehicle into the regulations and passed?

It is not as if electric cars are not in use anywhere else in the world. Haven’t the authorities here looked at regulations in the USA and the UK and adopted them?

The final statement in the release says it all:

“The Ministry and Department have communicated over the years to various car dealers, on the Island, that a fully electric vehicle could not be registered and licensed due to the technical components of the vehicles. Both the Ministry and Department have periodically issued updates on the progress of the legislation so that no one would prematurely import the vehicles that could not be licensed as yet.”

It would have been quicker to have invested in snails to transport us from one end of the island to the other than the speed all this is taking.

To justify the slowness by saying, “The Government and Minister responsible for vehicle licensing, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly took the opportunity to have a comprehensive approach to updating the Traffic Law, by modernising both the law and regulations simultaneously” sounds more like a copout.

Have these regulators any idea that progress is moving so fast and we are being left behind with all this red tape? And it costs money.

I am sorry if our headline gave the wrong impression.

Cayman sleeps whilst the world turns….




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