Traffic and Roads Policing Unit (TRPU)
The Traffic and Roads Policing Unit (TRPU) strives to improve road safety through road traffic enforcement, increased public awareness, and focused road engineering efforts to address the causes of traffic collisions and dangerous driving. In all of these aspects it partners with governmental departments such as the DVDL, NRA, and Public Transportation Board, in addition to non-profit organizations and campaigns, such as Streetskill (https://www.caymanroads.com)and Share the Road (http://www.sharetheroad.ky).
Road safety is a paramount concern for the public, as nearly everyone in the islands is a road user. In 2015, the number of road deaths across the islands climbed to twelve, causing understandable alarm in a community of only 60,000 people. Traffic fatalities fell by half in 2016, however, due to a range of factors, including increased traffic enforcement after the reactivation of a dedicated traffic unit, as well as community campaigns and public awareness efforts by both police and community groups (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbcYDgMjG3o; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTqZ1WGdiQY ). Nonetheless, the increasing number of cars on the islands and overall traffic accidents indicate that the islands will require more resources and more officers dedicated to traffic enforcement in the short to mid-term.
The TRPU consists of an inspector who heads the unit, two sergeants, ten constables and a secretary. All other uniform officers throughout the RCIPS can and do enforce traffic laws in the course of their other duties, but officers with the TRPU are dedicated to policing the roads. These officers use both marked police cars and police motorcycles when carrying out strategic road operations. Such operations are usually aimed at curbing a particular kind of problematic behavior by motorists, such as speeding, drunk driving, the use of illegal tint, or using a mobile phone while driving. In addition to general enforcement duties, TRPU officers also handle fatal and serious traffic collision investigations and manage traffic flows and road closures for major public events.
The TRPU currently confronts two main challenges to road safety in the Cayman Islands: drunk driving and the reckless riding of illegal motorbikes on the road. Officers continue to undertake enforcement efforts and awareness initiatives with the public and other agencies to address these menaces to public safety, and determine the causes and possibly the solution to them together. In this way the Unit deals with more than merely issuing traffic violations or planning road checks – it is also charged with evaluating traffic concerns from a strategic policing perspective in order to identify larger public safety threats or even criminal activity, and perform its role in putting a stop to these while increasing general road safety. It not only manages traffic, but also polices the road, hence the unit title, traffic and roads policing.