HPD clears up crosswalk law confusion

Local News

Any confusion over when a pedestrian is supposed to cross the street is being cleared up, and crossing at the wrong time could cost you $130.

Honolulu police say it’s always been illegal to enter a crosswalk when the red hand is flashing or when it reads ‘Do Not Walk.’

Earlier this year, lawmakers passed a bill re-emphasizing that it is illegal to cross the street if the red palm is flashing or reads do not walk because technology has become more advanced and now includes the countdown.

“Basically what the law did is clarify what the definition of the countdown timers are and what pedestrians are to do when they’re at an intersection with these countdown timers,” said Capt. Benjamin Moszkowicz, HPD traffic division.

Some pedestrians assumed those timers meant they had enough time to make it across the street.

“I thought the seconds flashing is because you get 15, 14 seconds more to cross the street,” said one pedestrian.

However, the countdown timer is so people who are already crossing legally know how quickly they need to get to the other side.

“If you’re already in the intersection when that countdown timer begins, then you should have enough time and it’s legal for you to continue crossing either all the way through the intersection or if there are intersections that have a safety zone in the middle,” Capt. Moszkowicz said.

However, some pedestrians say that they feel like they don’t have enough time to cross before the timer begins because drivers fail to yield to them. HPD says failing to yield to a pedestrian is also a minimum $130 fine.

“In that situation, the legal thing for the pedestrian to do would be to step off the corner when the signal is white but again I would advise any pedestrian whether they be old, young, a little kid to look left, right, left again even though it’s legal to cross the street it might not be safe to cross,” said Capt. Moszkowicz.

He also advises pedestrians to make eye contact with drivers so they’re aware as well.

And even though some signals show the walking symbol for only a couple of seconds, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Our main concern is we want people to be able to cross the street safely. If that means citing pedestrians or motorists to make sure everyone is obeying their responsibilities under the law at an intersection then that’s what we’ll do,” Capt. Moszkowicz said.

HPD issued about 2,700 tickets to pedestrians who violated the rule in 2018. : ��d�

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