Featured Articles

HDOT Takes Steps to Prevent Pedestrian Deaths

March 20, 2018, 9:30 AM HST
Listen to this Article
5 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

The Dynamic Message Sign on Kamehameha Highway in Aiea on O‘ahu displays the preliminary, total year-to-date traffic fatality figure for the state. PC: HDOT

So far in 2018, four pedestrians have died in Hawai‘i County, with a total of 14 across the state. Last year at this time, there were no pedestrian fatalities on the Big Island, and only one in the entire state. Total highway fatalities across the state have reached 20.

In an effort to reduce preventable deaths on the state’s roadways, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation will begin broadcasting traffic fatality statistics and safety messages weekly over permanent Dynamic Message Signs on O‘ahu, on the HDOT website and over social media accounts.

“Although we’re talking numbers and statistics, I want everyone to remember what each number represents,” said Gov. David Ige. “A family member or friend is lost forever every time the traffic fatality count increases. This year, nearly three-quarters of the deaths on Hawai‘i roads have been pedestrians. That is an unacceptable start to the year and we’re committing to raising awareness of safe driving and pedestrian behaviors.”

HDOT will begin broadcasting the year-to-date preliminary traffic death total over its Dynamic Message Signs (DMS). These signs are placed in strategic locations around O‘ahu to inform motorists of incidents, travel times, and other information to help them make driving decisions.

January 1, 2018 through March 15, 2018

Motor Vehicle Occupants  

Pedestrians

M/C, Moped, Scooter Operators  

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Bicyclists

ATV

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Operators

 

 

TOTAL

C&C of Honolulu  

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

1

 

9

3– m/c’s

0 – moped

0- scooter

Total -3

 

0

 

0

 

13

Hawai‘i County  

2

 

4

0 – m/c’s

0 – moped

0-scooters

Total – 0

 

0

 

0

 

6

Maui County  

0

 

1

0 – m/c’s

0 – mopeds

0 – scooters

Total -0

 

0

 

0

 

1

Kauai County  

0

 

0

0 – m/c’s

0 – mopeds

0 – scooters

Total -00

 

0

 

0

 

0

TOTAL 3   14 3

 

0 0 20  

January 1, 2017 through March 15, 2017

Motor Vehicle Occupants  

Pedestrians

M/C, Moped, Scooter Operators  

Bicyclists

ATV

Operators

 

 

TOTAL

C&C of Honolulu  

2

 

1

2 – m/c’s

1 – moped

0 – scooters

Total – 3

 

2

 

0

 

8

Hawai‘i County  

5

 

0

0 – m/c’s

1 – moped

0 – scooters

Total – 1

 

1

 

0

 

7

Maui County  

2

 

0

0 – m/c’s

0 – mopeds

0 – scooters

Total – 0

 

0

 

0

 

2

Kauai County  

0

 

0

0 – m/c’s

0 – mopeds

0 – scooters

Total – 0

 

0

 

0

 

0

TOTAL 9 1 4

 

3 0 17

Motor Vehicle Fatality Counts: To be considered a motor vehicle fatality in the State of Hawaii, the fatal crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public and must result in a death of at least one person (occupant of a vehicle or a non-motorist) within 30 days of the crash.

“Given the increase in pedestrian fatalities this year, we owe it to the road users of Hawai‘i to aggressively push our safety messaging by any means available,” said HDOT Highways Deputy Director Ed Sniffen. “A number of states are effectively pushing out messaging on highway safety through their systems and message boards and we want it to be a sobering reminder for our drivers as well.”

HDOT is encouraging the public to submit suggestions for highway safety messages via Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #safeHIroads. Submissions should be 30 characters or less and provide a message meant to encourage safe driver and/or pedestrian behavior, such as “Click It or Ticket.” Chosen submissions will be announced on HDOT social media accounts with credit given to the author.

As of March 15, 2018, preliminary state data shows that there have been 20 motor vehicle fatalities statewide. The cases remain under investigation; however, alcohol/drugs and/or speed are believed to be contributing factors in at least seven of the incidents.

The 2018 pedestrian fatalities include nine people who were killed crossing streets, six of which were not in marked crosswalks. Five people were struck while outside of their vehicle and are counted as pedestrians. The 2018 total of 14 pedestrian deaths statewide nearly matches the 15-total pedestrian deaths suffered for all of 2017.

“These traffic fatalities are occurring islandwide,” said Lt. Ben Moszkowicz of the Honolulu Police Department. “They happen where you work, where you live and all points in between. Starting this weekend [March 16, 2018] and throughout the spring and summer, the HPD will be conducting pedestrian and occupant safety operations on our roadways. In addition, the HPD will continue its 52/12 campaign. Through state DOT funding, the HPD establishes impaired driver checkpoints all 52 weeks and 12 months this year. As a reminder, the St. Patrick’s Holiday is coming up tomorrow. Nationwide, it is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to the number of drunk and drug impaired drivers on the road. Law enforcement will be out in force this weekend and throughout the year conducting DUI roadblocks with officers who have expertise in detecting both alcohol and drug impaired drivers.”

“A significant portion of these 2018 traffic fatalities will be found to be alcohol or drug related,” said Arkie Koehl of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “Alcohol-related fatalities had been decreasing but the 2016 official data—most recent year with official data—showed a significant increase. This year already looks very troubling. MADD continues to stress the ongoing importance of planning ahead to get a designated driver—whether a friend, a cab or a ride-sharing company, or the bus—if you are going to any gathering or event serving alcohol. This is an especially important message for this weekend with all its St. Patrick Day festivities.”

HDOT is reminding all of Hawai‘i’s roadway users to follow the laws and pay attention to stop the tragic and preventable deaths on our roadways. HDOT has produced and distributed pedestrian safety messaging through Walk Wise Hawaii since 2006. Walk Wise Hawaii pedestrian safety tips are now available in 12 languages including English, Hawaiian, Samoan, Chuukese, Marshallese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Ilocano, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

Brochures containing pedestrian safety steps are distributed at community events throughout the state. The multi-language brochure can be viewed downloaded here.

The English version can be downloaded here.

The Steps to Safety include:

  • Always cross the street at a crosswalk. When no crosswalk is available, please cross at a corner.
  • Be vigilant. Always look left-right-left and continue to look while crossing.
  • Do not enter the crosswalk if the light indicator is counting down. The countdown is for pedestrians already in the crosswalk.
  • Always walk when crossing the street. Never run.
  • Always wear bright or reflective clothing when walking between dusk and dawn.
  • Always watch for vehicles backing out of driveways or parking stalls. Drivers don’t always see you.
  • If there is no sidewalk, always walk on the side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic.

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.