HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials began construction to install red light cameras on Oahu on Tuesday, Sept. 20, but KHON2 still had questions after hearing from viewers.
Motorcycles and mopeds can still be cited through the cameras but rolling stops by any kind of vehicle will not clock as a violation.
“So the system will take a photo of the vehicle behind the violation line, which in the case of Hawaii is the stop line,” said Shelly Kunishige, Department of Transportation communications manager, “with the red light shown in the picture as well and then they will also show a second picture of the vehicle progressing through the intersection on that red light.”
The cameras will be placed behind the approaches, meaning vehicles without front license plates can still be caught. Officials said a back license plate tint or cover will not do much good, either.
“I’d also like to remind drivers that that is illegal, to try to obscure your license plate,” Kunishige said. “If you do that, the system will still catch you and you could possibly get a separate ticket for trying to obscure your license plate.”
The information will be sent to Honolulu police, where traffic officers will determine whether or not to issue a citation. HPD said how the program will affect their day-to-day operations remains to be seen, but officials hope it is better than having an officer physically wait and watch.
“As opposed to this, where I can get maybe an entire day’s worth of potential violations reviewed and either issued or not issued in a matter of minutes if not hours,” said HPD Traffic Division Maj. Ben Moszkowicz.
An introductory phase starts on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Vineyard Boulevard and Palama Street as well as Vineyard Boulevard and Liliha Street — warnings will be issued instead of citations for 30 days during this period.
They are not traps, officials said signs will be posted in the area.
“And this is part of why we are making the media push too, is so people know that this is here and they know that there’s a consequence if they run red lights here,” Kunishige said.
Officials said the cameras will only detect vehicles going straight through an intersection — right and left turns will not be cited. Eight other sites on Oahu are expected to be announced within the next two weeks.
Stolen jewels, boa constrictors killing owners, check out Weird News here
The HDOT will look at the data after the two-year pilot to see if the project works and then will determine whether to recommend it at other sites or islands.