Driver irritated by slow-moving car

| 25/05/2016

The other day I was driving on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway from Camana Bay towards the Butterfield roundabout, stuck behind a car with a kayak tied to its roof that was going about 25mph. There was no opportunity to pass and the line of cars behind me got longer and longer. Now that West Bay Road has a 25mph limit while the Esterley Tibbetts is 40mph, shouldn’t slow-moving vehicles be restricted to driving on the slower road? It is also a safety issue because right as I approached the end of the road, where passing is illegal, the car behind passed both me and the car in front. I feel this is an accident waiting to happen.

Auntie’s answer: There are actually two different issues at play here, which are the responsibility of different departments. One question is the legality of a driver going that slowly and the other is what should be the proper speed limit of a particular road.

Let’s start with the slow driver in front of you. This situation would fall under the RCIPS, as the driver going 25mph on a 40mph road could be ticketed. As it was explained by a police representative, the driver could be cited for causing an obstruction by moving, which makes sense since it sounds like the vehicle was blocking an entire line of cars, including yours.

Before any of you say anything, I realise that it now becomes an issue of enforcement because, realistically speaking, what are the chances a police officer will happen to be driving nearby when this offence occurs? I think we all know the answer to that question. But there it is. The person who was crawling along in front of you was committing an offence.

Now for the other issue — you wondered about restricting slow-moving cars to West Bay Road. From what I gather, drivers can’t really be restricted from using a road, though I have seen in other countries where trucks and other commercial vehicles are prohibited from certain thoroughfares, leaving only cars on those roads.

But anyway, the only other option when it comes to roads and speed limits is to request a change, and that falls under the remit of the Traffic Management Panel (TMP), which is also tasked at looking at such things as signals, rules of the road and traffic patterns. The members of this body come from the National Roads Authority (NRA), the RCIPS, the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing and the Ministry of Works.

While there is no real chairman, the NRA was described to me as the “facilitator”, and most applications for changes come through them.

Anyone who has a suggestion or complaint about a speed limit on a specific road should contact the panel; the easiest way to do that is to email the NRA.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    what were you going to do with the 5 minutes you would have saved? Write to the Auntie?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This also happens very often on Linford Pierson Hwy. There are two alternatives to communiting into GT. South Sound and Crewe Road which are thirty there should be signs directing slow moving traffic to these two routes.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good think it was there and not the East-West Arterial which does not allow any overtaking so you just have to sit and stew behind the slow driver and hope he or she is not going all the way to Hirst Road or Prospect.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It would be helpful to have signs on the road showing speed limits both in miles and kilometers as many cars here have kilometers rather than miles. Although people can do an approximate conversion in their minds, seeing the exact number in kilometers would certainly be helpful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Put the conversion in your car. You can buy a sticker or make one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have the speed limit painted on the surface of the road as they do in the UK. In built-up areas this is clearly marked about every 200 yards. It would be a good idea, especially on the 7 Mile Beach (or West Bay) Road where there are only a couple of small signs and it is easy to forget the new speed limit.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “A driver shall
    -avoid obstructing other vehicles whether the vehicle under
    control is moving or stationary”
    (Traffic Law 2011, Part 7 68.i)

    That’s the law about obstruction…

    To be fair, it’s possible that for whatever reason the driver may have deemed that 25mph was the maximum safe speed to maintain with full control of the vehicle under the conditions and loading situation etc. So it may be hard to prove that there is an intent to obstruct.

    “A driver shall
    -drive in such a manner as to have full control of the vehicle at all
    (Traffic Law 2011, Part 7 68.a)

    It would be good manners to pull over and let cars pass, though!

    Nevertheless, in this particular case another law might come into play – that which forbids overhanging loads.

    “A person who does any of the following commits an offence and is
    punishable under section 138
    – drives a vehicle with a load which overhangs the vehicle or
    which is carried on the vehicle in a manner which is likely to
    cause danger to other road users”
    (Traffic Law 2011, Part 7 93.1.x)

    Something to think about…

  6. Anonymous says:

    FYI, there is a provision in the traffic laws that mandates all vehicles using public roads must be able to maintain a minimum speed. I don’t have a copy handy but seem to remember it was either 20 or 25mph.

    • Anonymous says:

      the problem is that we are ready to have discussion and legal proceedings against fast drivers but no one was ready to stand up and say the slow moving traffic is also a problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      minimum speed limit has never been applied in Cayman.