Cayman New Resident
The definitive guide to living and working in the Cayman Islands
Dec 05, 2016 

Rules of the Road

Last updated: 28th October 2015

The most common mode of transportation in Cayman is by car, though many people take advantage of scooters or riding bikes, as these are a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. There is also an inexpensive bus service that may be a good option for some. According to Government records there are 47,464 cars registered on Cayman roads as well as 1,119 scooters and 306 motorbikes.

Where you live on the Island can dictate what form of transport will work best for you, since the bus service is not offered everywhere. If you are a couple or have a family, then the discussion will arise as to whether you need one car or two. In our experience, you will need two cars, unless you are prepared to be entirely beholden to the person who has the car!

Most people do not walk here, one reason being that it is hot and in the summer it rains torrentially, but also because roads have little or no verge for walking along. Riding a bicycle may be an option, but many motorists don’t give cyclists the respect they deserve and roads don’t offer much of a shoulder to ride on. Please note that some people ride their bikes on the right-hand side of the road (the wrong way) believing that they will be more visible to oncoming traffic. However, this is illegal and a huge liability for the cyclist and any motorist exiting a road or car park and turning left. Lights, a reflective vest and extreme caution are essential if cycling at night.

This section provides detailed information on the legal criteria for driving in Cayman; how to licence your vehicle to make it legally roadworthy, how to get a driving licence, how to import or export a vehicle, how to clear your car through Customs including the duty costs, how to buy, rent or lease a car in Cayman, a list of Cayman car dealers and what they specialise in, including hybrid and electric cars, alternative transportation possibilities and more.

Rules of the Road

In Cayman there are drivers from all corners of the world, where traffic laws can be quite different. For this reason drivers should be alert and exercise care.

  • We drive on the left-hand side of the road
  • Seatbelts must be worn by all passengers, including those in the back. Its the law and fines are freely handed out for violations.
  • Turning left on a red light, after a full stop, is allowed and is legal
  • Mobile Phone Use: Using a mobile phone (unless hands-free) while driving is illegal
  • Four-Way Stops: We have a few four-way stops. These work on the basis of whoever gets to the four-way stop first, proceeds first
  • Speed Limits: Speed restrictions are signed in miles per hour, and they vary between 25mph-50mph. Many rental vehicles have their speedometers in kilometers per hour. Some helpful conversions are as follows: 25mph = 40kph, 30mph = 48kph, 40mph = 64kph and 50mph = 80kph. Speeding tickets are again freely dispensed for violations.
  • School Zone Speeding: New legislation is due to come into effect which will see people lose their driving license for 6 months or a year if caught going 30mph (or greater) in a 15mph school zone. The current traffic regulation sets a CI$200 minimum fine for speeding in a school zone.
  • Pedestrians: 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!
  • Fog Lights: The use of fog lights is not allowed
  • Overtaking: 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 a person, animal or property/vehicle, you must exchange names, addresses, date of birth, registration numbers and your insurance details. Or report the accident to the police within 24 hours
  • Tinting: window tinting is a very good idea as it helps keep the heat out; however, there are very specific rules as to how much tinting you can have. 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%
  • Tyres on the same axle have to have the same size and tread. You cannot mix a radial tyre tread with a cross pile tread.


Roundabouts have proven so popular as a means of controlling traffic flow that there are now over two dozen located around Grand Cayman. If you are not familiar with roundabouts and want to avoid an accident, then please learn these rules. Every time you approach or enter a roundabout you must give it your full attention. Be aware of the traffic around you and don't just rely on your mirrors. The rules are really very simple:
  • Always travel around a roundabout in a clockwise direction. Never turn right onto a roundabout or you will turn into the oncoming, one-way traffic!
  • All traffic approaching a roundabout must yield to the traffic that is already on it. All vehicles already on the roundabout have right of way and you must wait for space to get onto it.
  • Use your indicators when approaching or exiting a roundabout. When turning left this should be obvious. When going straight across or turning right, you should indicate right as you approach the roundabout and then as you near your exit indicate left. Make sure to not overtake while on the roundabout. If a car is to your right and slightly ahead and they want to turn left, they have the right of way.
  • Emergency vehicles. All emergency vehicles using lights and sirens have the right-of-way. The moment you hear or see an emergency vehicle behind you make sure to pull over to the left side of the road well before the roundabout entrance and allow them to pass. If you are on the roundabout when an emergency vehicle approaches behind you, never stop on the roundabout, continue to your exit and then pull safely over on the left shoulder to allow them to pass.
  • When using mini roundabouts. Mini roundabouts are single lane roundabouts. Merge left when space is available and keep left of the painted circle until you reach your exit. All other cars must yield to the vehicle on the roundabout. Take caution when oversized vehicles such as flatbed trucks and fire trucks are on or approaching the roundabout as they may drive over all or part of the painted circle if necessary.
  • When using multi-lane roundabouts. Keep in the left-hand lane if taking the first or second exit. Keep in the right-hand lane if taking a subsequent exit and maintain your position in the centre lane until the exit prior to the one you will be taking. When moving from the centre lane to the outer lane prior to exiting, look over your left shoulder to ensure someone is not overtaking you on the outside. Use your indicators. See diagram above.
  • For a very useful little video on how to negotiate roundabouts see this YouTube video which the Cayman Islands Department of Transport produced:

Using the Centre Turning Lane 

The turning lane in the centre of some roads is designed to help drivers turn right across traffic. The lane should never be used for overtaking. See diagram above.

School Buses & School Zones 

Under the traffic law, 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 20 feet away and wait until the bus has pulled away before you continue driving.

In addition, you should pay attention to the 15mph speed limits in dedicated 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 or less.

Children & Car Seats

Cayman Islands law (Traffic Law 2003 (revision) section 70) states that any child travelling in a motor vehicle must wear a seatbelt and if under the age of 14 must sit in the rear of the vehicle. It also states that a rear facing child's car seat must not be fitted in a seat with a front airbag. Children's car seats can be bought at The Baby Shoppe, Little Darlings and sometimes at PricedRight and Cost-U-Less.

Cell Phones & Texting While Driving

 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 Law 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.”

Drinking & Driving

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 driving any vehicle over the legal limit you will have to go to court and lose your licence for a period of at least one year. We recommend that you use HomeSafe (Tel: (345) 326 7233), a reliable and inexpensive car delivery service that will take you and your car home. Parents will often buy their children (of drinking age) batches of 10 vouchers for HomeSafe so that they will get home safely. Alternatively, use a taxi or a designated driver if you are going to be drinking.

Occasionally we are asked whether a conviction for drink driving will hinder people from being granted a work permit by the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration. The answer to this is yes. A drink driving conviction must and should show up on your Police Clearance form and is a hindrance to gaining work in the Cayman Islands. For more information on this please see the Immigration & Entry Requirements page.  

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