Road signs and passing on a divided highway

| 11/02/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

It infuriates me that people when driving on a dual carriageway don’t know that they should keep to the left lane unless they are passing. If I’m correct, perhaps you could ask the National Roads Authority to put up some signs. So, my question is: Should traffic stay in the left lane unless passing?

Auntie’s answer: First of all, the term “dual carriageway” is used in Britain and refers to a divided highway with two or more lanes. It is not generally used here, as the local lexicon tends to follow that of the US. Now to answer the question.

I know the quality (or lack thereof) of drivers in Cayman is a concern to many people and I have answered a good number of traffic-related questions through this column. I have also been known to have a good rant myself on this topic.

Therefore, while a similar question has come up before, I do think sometimes it is worthwhile to remind people of what is and is not allowed.

In this particular instance, in a four-lane highway, like the Esterley Tibbetts, you are correct that the right-hand lane should be used for overtaking, with the driver moving back to the left lane when safe to do so.

However, drivers also have to be in the right lane if they are turning right or taking any exit on a roundabout other than left or straight on, and the stretches of highway are very short, which confuses the issue somewhat.

What is irritating is when people trundle along at 25mph in the right lane for no particular reason. I think the signs you want to see are something like “Stick to the left unless passing”, which might not be a bad idea.

I did pass on your suggestion to the National Roads Authority (NRA), but while we’re on the subject, I would like to give credit to the NRA for the various arrows they have painted on the roads approaching roundabouts. I think these are clear and very helpful, especially for the three-lane roundabout by Camana Bay, and I hope that drivers are paying attention to those signs.

If anyone has other suggestions or concerns about road usage and signage, please let me know.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Could someone tell us why they drive in the right hand lane? When a road changes from 1 lane to 2, or 2 lanes to 3 drivers all ways go to the outside lane, but for the life of me I don’t see what it accomplishes, except maybe to thumb their nose up to the the laws of the land.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Auntie but they are dual carriage ways. We are a British island – even driving on the left.
    The roundabout paintings are great but just last week a tourist was going around the Camana Bay round about in the wrong direction.
    I narrowly avoided being hit yesterday by a driver cutting lanes when going around (probably because he could turn the when sufficiently with one hand as he was talking on the phone),

    • Anonymous says:

      You are not a British island. Don’t mess with peoples minds with your dual carriage way.

    • Anne says:

      There’s a sign when you turn onto Lawrence Boulevard from West Bay Road that says ‘Dual Carriageway’ which suggests to me that they are called dual carriageways here. 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Auntie, your reply should be compulsory reading for all drivers/ road users in Cayman. On a daily basis I am frustrated by slow moving traffic on the right lane who I must “undertake” on the left.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please stop treating roundabouts like a 4 way stop!!! It is NOT a stop sign!!!! It is to keep traffic FLOWING!!!
    Know your ‘right of ways’ people….

    • Anonymous says:

      And stop STOPPING ON the round about to be nice and let someone out, thereby blocking the flow.

  5. Anonymous says:

    No sign will make a difference to the idiots on the road. Only fines and jail time will.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s the trucks that are the most concerning. Fully loaded dump trucks barrel westward in the right lane by Spots… completely oblivious to the fact that just out of view there could be (legally) stopped vehicles in that lane waiting to turn right into a side street. This can and has caused bad accidents.

    Those trucks have no business in that right lane, as I’ve certainly never seen one turn into a side street on the right or do anything but go straight through the Ocean Club roundabout. i.e. there is no plausible reason for them to be in the right lane.

  7. Anonymous says:

    See page 20 paragraph 2 in the Road Code of the Cayman Islands.
    As a guide when turning right, move into the right lane about 100 meters from your junction (after indicating to change lanes). The stretches of dual carriageway/divided highway are plenty long enough to move back to the left. I have seen vehicles travel from Camana Bay to Batabano all in the right hand lane, and then turn left at the end of the ETH.
    Bad driving habits are simply due to ignorance.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The dual carriageways here aren’t that short, they have plenty of distance for you to move to the left lane. This is especially annoying when you have cars in both lanes going much slower than the speed limit but also blocking other traffic from doing the speed limit.

  9. Anonymous says:

    my dash cam records 100’s of traffic violations everyday
    solution: fit all police car with dash cams and fine people accordingly.

    • Anonymous says:

      100’s of traffic violations everyday? So at least 200, you must be driving 300 miles every day to see that many. On any given drive I see perhaps 10 at the most, still a lot but not quite “100’s”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    That’s very good advice Auntie. I don’t know how the original questioner would have time to become “infuriated” when every dual carriageway in Cayman is in fact a very short piece of road. I would suggest a sign that says “Stay in the Left Lane unless you should be in the Right Lane”. However, I do recognize that this would create a dilemma for many on those sections of road with three lanes.