It’s already against the law to block a state highway with your car.
Residents in some small communities say the trouble is getting people to follow the law.
A bill now being considered by the governor aims to change that.
Over the last several years, thousands of people have pulled over on some of Hawaii’s most beautiful highways.
But parking on the side of some state highways has turned into a big problem in small communities like Haena and Hana.
It’s been just over a year since record flooding hit Kauai.
As the state plans on re-opening the area to visitors this month, residents noticed new signs pop up along their narrow highway that read No Parking Anytime, $200 fine HRS 291C-111.
One Haena resident says the signs were put in problem areas along Kuhio Highway.
“Where we now have the signs, it’s at places where they [visitors] are parking on the road that’s the problem,” said Lahela Chandler Correa, Haena resident.
She says it’s common to see a car parked halfway onto the highway.
“Or they’re parking and not knowing there’s a ditch right next to the car, so they pull over and they fall half off the road it’s happened a lot down in Haena,” she said.
The new signs come as the Governor considers whether or not to sign into a law a measure that could slap drivers blocking state highways with a $200 surcharge.
The community says they’ve been dealing with illegal parking near the popular Haena State Park for years.
“They park in any little cranny place that they can but it’s not parking place, it’s just a highway,” she said.
She says visitors consider it not to be a busy road, and for the most part disregard the $30 ticket if they’re caught parking illegally.
“We love the signs right now, we wish they didn’t have to put them up, but they had to, to be enforced,” Chandler-Correa said.
Another narrow two-lane highway that could benefit from the bill is the Road to Hana on Maui.
The Hana Highway Regulation group has been aiming to educate visitors and locals on safety while driving through Hana. One big issue they’ve seen is illegal parking.
“We are optimistic at what this measure will do for the areas of Haena and Kuhio Highway,” Napua Hueu, Hana Highway Regulation Committee Chair wrote in a text.
“We’re looking forward to hearing the results so we may consider implementation for the Hana Highway. We have eight roadside sites, otherwise considered attractions that are seeing a total of 415 illegal parking infractions every day during peak season along Hana Highway. A large majority of these infractions are not being issued citations due to the limited resources of our rural police department in Hana. We have visitors parked directly under No Parking signs on a daily basis, we believe having the law and fine outlined on the sign could really help the situation.”
As far as enforcement, some of the money from the surcharge would go into the state highway enforcement program, which specifically aims to crack down on drivers blocking highways.