There are fewer traffic fatalities this year, says Hawaii Department of Transportation

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) reports that there have been 27 fewer deaths on Hawaii roads compared to last year. Officials say that is largely due to a significant decrease in the amount of vehicles on the roads.

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“At HDOT, we are thankful that there have been fewer traffic deaths in 2020 but we also have to be mindful that we had fewer cars out on our roads,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “We know we need to continue pursuing safety measures, including education and support of enforcement, for the safety of everyone, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, motorists, and their passengers.”

As of Nov. 24, HDOT says there have been 73 traffic fatalities and numerous near fatal crashes. This high number comes with a reduction of roughly a third of vehicle trips daily.

The department explains that top contributing factors involved in Hawaii’s traffic fatalities are impaired driving, speed and distracted driving. Preliminary 2019 investigations showed that 59 percent of traffic fatalities that were tested, tested positive for alcohol or drugs.

In 2020, that number dropped to 47 percent.

To elevate pedestrians safety and require drivers to slow down when approaching the crosswalk, HDOT began several installation projects across the state.

Here is a list of completed and planned installations of raised crosswalks by island are:

Kauai

  • Kuhio Highway on Route 560 at mile marker 3.1 near Hanalei School: Installation planned for Dec. 2020.

Oahu

  • Kalihi Street near Kalakaua Intermediate, Kalihi Kai Elementary – Installed May of 2019.
  • Farrington Highway at Ala Walua Street, the Waianae High School exit, Alawa Place and Maiuu Road – Installed August of 2019.
  • Fort Weaver Road near Ilima Intermediate, Pohakea Elementary and James Campbell High Schools – Installed August of 2019.
  • Farrington Highway by Waialua High School – Installed in July of 2020.
  • Pali Highway in Nuuanu at Upper Dowsett Avenue and Ahipuu Street – Installation planned for Nov./Dec. 2020.
  • Fort Weaver Road at Parish Drive and Kiliha Street/Ewa Beach Road – Installation planned in addition to expansion of school zone speed zone and improved highway lighting.

Maui

  • Hana Highway near Haiku Elementary and Haiku Community Center – Installed two raised crosswalks in Oct. 2020 to supplement Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFB) and speed feedback signs.
  • Haleakala Highway near Lower Kimo Drive – Installed two speed tables as a traffic calming measure.

Hawaii Island

  • Mamalahoa Highway on Route 11 at Naalehu School – Installation planned for Dec. 2020.

HDOT is urging all drivers to follow the rules of the road for their own safety and the health and safety of our communities.

For more information, visit their website.

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