HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) said red-light cameras are coming to Downtown Honolulu. It is part of a measure passed last year that would allow the state to create a pilot program on Oahu to test out red-light cameras.
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Lawmakers agree Downtown Honolulu is one of the best places to start the program.
“Some of the intersections in these areas are worst in the state in terms of traffic accidents and fatalities.”Rep. Scott Saiki, (D) Downtown, McCully and Kakaako
Rep. Scott Saiki — who introduced the bill — said there is a lot of cars that drive through the area, creating traffic congestion and causing more people to run a red light.
There is also worry for pedestrians. Sen. Karl Rhoads said, he often walks around Chinatown and sees pedestrians sometimes almost get hit by cars turning and disregarding the light.
“When you’re trying to beat a red light you know you can be going 25, 30 miles an hour making that turn, and I’ve seen a lot of pedestrians have to either scurry out of the way or wait for the car that’s turning illegally,” said Rhoads.
HDOT said, the cameras for the red-light photo enforcement pilot project will be installed at ten sites around Downtown Honolulu. The locations were chosen to minimize impacts to the Honolulu Police Department, the Office of the Prosecutor and court personnel during the pilot period.
“I think the main things were to make sure that they’re placed in the right in the appropriate locations and proper intersections, and then to make sure that they are accurate in terms of what they what they record,” said Saiki.
The cameras will take a snapshot when a driver runs a red light. A citation will then be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.
“This just makes it much, much easier for enforcement,” said Saiki. “You don’t have to have a police officer present when the violation occurs, you know, the violation being recorded, and that will help a lot with enforcement.”
Both lawmakers say they are hopeful the new pilot program will make a difference to the area.
“The data from all over the country and all over the world is that people will stop running red lights and stop turning on red when they’re not supposed to, when they get fined for it. And people don’t like it, but there’s no question that it works,” said Rhoads.
HDOT said the selection board is currently reviewing proposals for the red-light cameras. They will release the locations of where the cameras will be installed once a decision is made.