Many drivers on Oahu enjoyed the open roads during the Covid-19 shut down, but with fewer people on the road, more people started speeding.
Honolulu Police said from March 23, 2020, the day the shut-down began, to June 8, they issued 12,905 speeding citations. From the same time last year, they issued 6,512 speeding citations.
“Don’t be in a rush, don’t speed, I know it’s an old saying, ‘speed kills,’ but that’s what we’re finding,” said Maj. Calvin Tong, Honolulu Police Department. “The faster you go, you get into an accident, it’s going to be pretty bad.”
On Sunday morning, an 18-year-old Waialua driver was killed in a crash. It was Honolulu’s 19th traffic fatality in 2020. Police believe speed was a factor.
This time in 2019, there were 27 fatalities.
On June 19, bars across Oahu are set to re-open.
During the shut-down (March 23-June 8), Honolulu saw a decrease in DUI arrests, from 830 this time in 2019, to 336 in 2020.
“We’ve all been cooped up and everyone’s just anxious to get out again which means going on the road, going to restaurants, and probably drinking,” said Theresa Paulette, chair for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
“It is going to increase because bars are opening and that’s when you see the crashes,” she said.
“Don’t drink and drive, those are the top two killers -speed and alcohol- and if you combine them together, you’re not going to have a good outcome,” said HPD Maj. Tong.