The Traffic Services Section of the Hawaii Police Department is encouraging people to drive safely when approaching school zones. These areas have a high number of young pedestrians that interact with vehicle traffic.
Pedestrians are encouraged to use the crosswalks and follow the directions of the School Crossing Guards at the schools.
Recently, the department has received an increasing number of complaints of drivers speeding, using cell phones and failing to stop at posted crosswalks when School Crossing Guards are attending to them. If a crosswalk has yellow flashing lights visible to drivers, that is an indication to slow down and prepare to yield to pedestrians in the area. Crosswalks with no flashing lights may have brightly-colored flags and/or someone monitoring the pedestrian traffic. Many crosswalks don’t have additional safety measures in place, and it is the driver’s responsibility to be aware of pedestrians — particularly children — in the area.
The Hawaii Police Department will be monitoring these areas closely and issuing citations for violations they observe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said when driving to school make sure there’s a safe driver behind the wheel. Every ride begins with everyone wearing seat belts, using booster seats, or being properly secured in an appropriate car seat. Every child rides in the back seat; children in the front seat are 40 percent more likely to be injured in crashes.
From 2007 to 2016, there were 281 school-aged children killed in school transportation-related crashes. Parents are encouraged to discuss safety tips with children, model road safety behaviors — including always buckling up in the car — and following all the rules of the road every time you drive, ride or walk.