2014 Traffic Fatalities Lowest in 40 Years, 2015 Down
Statewide numbers for traffic fatalities are down in 2015, continuing a trend that began in 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s preliminary data shows an overall increase in traffic related fatalities nationally, however, in Hawai’i, those numbers are down with 95 motor vehicle fatalities in 2014, the lowest the state has seen in 40 years.
To date in 2015, state data shows a total of 91 traffic fatalities.
Hawai’i Department of Transportation officials ask the public to maintain safe driving, walking, and biking conditions throughout the holiday season.
“We are pleased with the reduction in traffic fatalities,” said Ford Fuchigami, HDOT Director. “It shows that we can make a difference by working together between agencies, advocacy groups, and most of all, our friends and family in the community. Please help us continue this safety trend. Even one death is too many.”
Motorists can expect to see an increase in roadblocks during the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. The kick-off begins on Dec. 18 and will run through Jan. 3.
DOT personnel say police will also be aware of individuals violating other traffic laws with high visibility that hopes to “remind everyone to make better and safer decisions.”
“Driving while impaired, driving while distracted, driving recklessly and speeding, and not ensuring that everyone is buckled up are choices that are made, not accidents,” said Ed Sniffen, HDOT Highways Division Deputy Director. “The majority of the fatalities on our roads are directly related to these choices. Please make good choices to help all of our family, friends, and visitors make it home safely to their loved ones during this holiday season.”
The following tips for safe holiday driving were released by DOT, county, and community partners:
- Make a plan for a safe way home before you attend that office party or holiday event. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver (not the person who’s had the least to drink) ahead of time and leave your keys at home.
- If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Obey all posted speed limits and follow all traffic laws.
- Focus all of your attention on driving, rather than being distracted by your cellular phone, the radio, other passengers in the car, etc.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and other drivers, especially in blind spots and areas where other roadway users may not be clearly visible from all angles.
- Always buckle up, every ride, every time. Make sure that all of your passengers are buckled up, too.