There are over 135 different nationalities represented in Cayman, which means there are drivers from all around the world where traffic laws can be quite different. It is therefore crucial that drivers know the rules of Cayman’s roads.
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Here’s what you need to know:
- We drive on the left-hand side of the road
- Seatbelts must be worn by all passengers
- Turning left on a red light, only after a full stop, is allowed and is legal
- Using a mobile phone (unless hands-free) while driving is illegal
- We have a few four-way stops. These work on the basis of whoever gets to the four-way stop first after making a full stop, proceeds first
- The speed limit signs in Cayman are circular with a red outline and displayed in mph
- The speed limit on the Island varies between 25mph-50mph. Speeding tickets are freely dispersed to people who go over the limit
- The speed limit for school zones is 15mph when a) amber lights are flashing or b) road markings or signs are posted
- All drivers must give way to pedestrians on pedestrian crossings
- Headlights must be fitted to dip left. Cars being imported from the US take note
- The use of fog lights is not allowed
- You cannot overtake if there is a solid single or double white (or yellow) line in the centre of the road
- Accidents: The law requires that in the event of an accident involving injury to person/ animal/vehicle, you must exchange names, addresses, DOB, registration numbers and your insurance details. Or report the accident to the police within 24 hours
- Tinted Car Windows: Front windows can be tinted, but must allow a minimum of 35% light transmission through. Rear windows can be made darker to a maximum of 15%.
Visit www.dvdl.gov.ky for more information.
Roundabouts have proven so popular as a means of controlling traffic flow that there are now over two dozen located around Grand Cayman, including a couple of three-lane roundabouts. If you are unfamiliar with how roundabouts work, and want to avoid an accident, then please learn these rules.
Using the Centre Turning Lane
The turning lane in the centre of some roads is designed to help drivers turn without holding up other drivers. The lane should never be used for overtaking.
School Buses & School Zones
Under the Traffic Act, when a school bus has its lights flashing and has stopped to allow children to get on or off, drivers are NOT permitted to pass the bus. This applies to vehicles approaching the bus from the opposite lane, as well as those behind the bus.
If you approach a bus that is letting children off, stop at least 20ft away and wait until the bus has pulled away before you continue driving.
You should also pay attention to the 15mph speed limits in designated school zones to ensure the safety of youngsters. At certain times of the day, warning lights flash outside the schools, indicating to drivers that they need to reduce their speed to 15mph.
The Cayman Islands Traffic (Seat Belts) Regulations 2012 states that any child travelling in a motor vehicle must wear a seatbelt or, for those under two, be seated in a car seat attached by a seatbelt. It also states that a rear facing child’s car seat must not be fitted in a seat with a front airbag.
CI$150 fine is automatically issued to anyone seen driving while talking on a mobile phone unless it is hands-free.
In section 78 of the Traffic Act 2011, it states: “in order to use your cellular device while driving it must be “hands free” (securely mounted to the vehicle) with no more than one action of pressing a button to accept and end a call.
You are also able to legally use your phone while driving if you are calling 911 to report an emergency to police, fire or ambulance crews, especially if it is unsafe or impractical to stop and park.
Lastly, you may use your phone if your vehicle is stationary and removed from the normal flow of traffic. You cannot use your mobile phone if you have stopped at a traffic light.
The drinking and driving rules in Cayman are strict and strongly enforced.
The legal blood-alcohol limit for the Cayman Islands is 0.100% (100mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood). If you are caught either driving or sitting in the drivers seat of a car, and you are over the legal limit, you will be fined CI$1,000 or imprisoned for six months and you will lose your driving licence for a year. We recommend that you use a taxi or a designated driver if you are going to be drinking.
An app called Flex is now available to help prevent drinking and driving. The Uber-style application allows users to share rides, use GPS to track their journey and make sure they are travelling the best possible route. Visit www.flex.ky for more information. To prevent drinking and driving during the holiday season, the National Drug Council provides a free bus service. Visit the Purple Ribbon Bus page for more information.
Occasionally we are asked whether a conviction for drink driving will hinder people from being granted a work permit by WORC (Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman - formerly The Department of Immigration). The answer to this is yes. For more information on this please see the Immigration page.
Disabled Parking Badge
Cayman takes its rules regarding disabled parking access very seriously and parking illegally is frowned upon by the public. If you do park illegally, you may receive a ticket from a police officer or be publicly shamed by Blue Spot campaigners, who post pictures on their public Facebook page.
To obtain a disabled parking badge, you can collect an application form from the DVDL, or download and print the pdf version from the DVDL website, and have a licensed physician fill out the relevant portions, stating whether it needs to be temporary or permanent.
Your application will then be reviewed and if approved, a fee of CI$5 will have to be paid to receive a tag or you can choose to pay a fee of CI$75 for a licence plate.