East Hawaii News

Traffic Deaths Down by a Third Over Last Year

December 16, 2013, 5:38 PM HST
* Updated December 17, 9:44 AM
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Going into the final weeks of 2013, drunken-driving arrests, major accidents and traffic fatalities are all down compared to 2012.

The Hawaii Police Department said as of Sunday, Dec. 15, there had been 1,278 DUI arrests on the Big Island. That is a 9.9% drop over the 1,419 arrests at the same time last year.

Similarly, the 1,268 major accidents so far represent a 9.2% drop from the 1,397 through the middle of December in 2012.

But the biggest change was in traffic fatalities, which are down by nearly a third over last year’s levels.

So far this year, there have been 25 deaths on public Big Island roadways compared to 37 at the same time last year, a decrease of 32.4%.

And this year’s tally includes eight traffic deaths in the first six weeks of 2013. Drugs or alcohol were considered a factor in three of the four crashes involved.

Though 50 weeks this year, just over half of the fatalities were related to substance abuse.

Drugs alone played a role in five of the deaths and alcohol alone in two. Six of the fatalities involved both substances combined.

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