HONOLULU (KHON2) — Drivers might want to be careful with who takes their car out.
Construction began at two Oahu intersections on Tuesday, Sept. 20 to install cameras that will cite the owner — not the driver — of vehicles that run red lights.
Both locations are along Vineyard Boulevard; One is at Palama Street and the other is at Liliha Street.
Officials have been gathering data over the summer and said several drivers run the red light at the Palama intersection every day.
“10 cars per day were running red lights, so we saw that it’s an issue here, which is why we selected this intersection,” said Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation’s deputy director of highways.
Construction is expected to take two to three weeks at each intersection.
“On Liliha, we’ll start that up in October. It’ll take us another two to three weeks to finalize that installation, then that area will be up and running as well,” Sniffen said.
The cameras — once they become active — will snap a photo of the license plate if a vehicle crosses the stop line after the light turns red. Honolulu police will then check the location of the infraction as well as the vehicle registration.
“And if the officer is satisfied that the burden is met, then the officer will issue the citation, which will be sent by mail to the registered owner,” said Honolulu police Traffic Division Maj. Ben Moszkowicz.
Officials said owners can still dispute the citation — like if their vehicle was stolen — since the cameras do not target the driver.
“We’ll set up the process on our website for everybody to know how to appeal, what you can appeal and how to appeal it,” Sniffen said, “we want to make sure this is fair to everybody, so if there are extenuating circumstances, we would love to consider it.”
Each intersection will have a 30-day introductory period when construction wraps up. Warnings will be given out instead of citations during that time. Citations will begin rolling out when the introductory period ends.
“If you happen to loan your car to someone who runs a red light, you’re responsible for that car if they park it illegally or if they’re involved in a collision. So this is kind of no different, it’s kind of the same mindset,” Maj. Moszkowicz said.
One Liliha resident said his son drives his car on occasion, but he liked the idea of putting safety first.
“You should be careful when you take the car! Everybody should, know what I mean,” Mel Merritt said. “Everybody stay safe, everybody will be alright, right?”
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Officials have yet to confirm 8 other possible sites for these cameras but said the Palama and Liliha locations will begin citing vehicle owners by the end of 2022.