Fourteen pedestrians have been killed in Hawaii so far in 2018.
Most were hit while crossing the road, and two were killed while trying to change a tire on the shoulder.
That’s almost as many pedestrians killed statewide for all of last year, and it’s only March.
The number is sobering, and the state wants to make it doesn’t go up.
Gov. David Ige, along with other state and city officials, took a pledge Friday to stay safe on the road, both in their cars and walking on the street.
It’s a pledge they hope people around the state will take as well.
“I am concerned that so far this year, we have already had 14 pedestrian deaths and once again, it will take all of us working together to improve on the numbers and improvement that we saw last year,” said Ige.
In an effort to reduce those deaths, the state will broadcast traffic fatality statistics and safety messages weekly on Oahu, and online.
The governor, along with representatives from the Honolulu Police Department, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Walk Wise Hawaii, talked about what can be done to cut down on the already high number of all traffic deaths, not just pedestrians, on Hawaii’s roads.
HPD Lt. Ben Moszkowicz talked about witnessing the aftermath of these pedestrian fatalities first-hand: “This is incredibly troubling being in the position that I am currently in with the traffic division. I respond to every critical and fatal collision involving anyone on the island, so I’ve seen collisions upfront as in very up close and personal. I’ve talked to victims families. It’s just incredibly troubling, and I don’t wish it on anyone.”
Ed Sniffen with the state Department of Transportation hopes awareness will help cut down on the number of deaths seen on roads statewide.
“When we look at the contributing factors to these types of accidents, speeding, drunk driving, drug driving, being on your cell phones. These are the types of things that kill people on our roadways. We need to stop that,” Sniffen said.
Pedestrian safety tips:
- 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.