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Get to know the New Traffic Act

Published 28th September 2012, 4:50 pm

Expect to be ticketed for illegal parking, speeding in a school zone and …

With the new Traffic Act and Regulations coming into effect on 21 September, there are a few amendments that the public should be aware of, such as: clamping of cars will be illegal but they can be towed; speeding in a school zone and failing to comply with instructions from utility or road repair workers are now ticketable offences.

While your vehicle wheels may no longer be clamped, this does not mean that the police will not have the authority to ticket or tow or do both, under Section 115 of the New Traffic Act.

“As long as the public has access to a parking lot, then they must follow the Act; otherwise they are committing an offence and if they are parked illegally or in an unsafe manner, the police will have the authority to ticket or tow the vehicle," said Director of Driver and Vehicle Licensing David Dixon.

“The police will be looking out for four things -- an abandoned vehicle; parking in an unlawful or unsafe manner, such as parking on yellow line; parking in a no parking area or in handicapped  space, or if a vehicle was involved in accident,” he explained.

This means that persons who park illegally in a handicapped spot – that is, a vehicle doesn’t have a disabled parking permit -- or park in a designated no parking zone or on a yellow line, can be ticketed, whether they are in a parking lot, such as a grocery store, or on the street.

The fine for illegal parking is $100 and in the event the car is towed, there is a towing fee of $40, and a $10 a day pound fee for which the owner is responsible.

The public should note that  Royal Cayman Islands Police is the only agency that has the authority to have a vehicle towed. This means that if a company wants a car towed, they will call the police who will come to the complainant. The police will then assess the situation and take the appropriate action,” Mr. Dixon explained.

School Zones are now properly gazetted under the new Traffic Act, which means that motorists should comply to the 15 mph speed limit when the lights are flashing or road markings or signs are posted. The offence now draws at $200 fine.

Another change in the Traffic Act is that under section 117, utility workers now have some protection under the act when carrying out road works, said Mr. Dixon.

"The Police were getting a lot of complaints that drivers were unnecessarily putting utility workers at risk by deliberately disobeying their directions," Mr. Dixon explained.

The Act states, “A person who, on approaching road works referred to in subsection, (2), does not obey all directional signals and signs, whether verbal, manual or automated, given to him by –(a) a person authorized to man such place; or (b) equipment placed at such road works, has committed an offence.”

"The police have the ability to prosecute the public if they endanger these workers when they are carrying out road work,” he added.