Honolulu police step up pedestrian safety awareness, enforcement

News

A 77-year-old woman remains in critical condition after being hit by a car Monday night on Piikoi Street.

Police say the woman was not in a marked crosswalk and have opened a negligent injury case.

“If that was my own grandma, I would be worried as well,” said Ewa Beach resident Marcus Vidad, who works near the scene of the crash.

“You take your life in your hands as a pedestrian on this street,” said Makiki resident Robin Kenny.

All month long, police officers have been out and about, reminding drivers to slow down, and warning pedestrians about the hefty fines they could face if they break the law.

“We try to do our best to get the word out there, slow everyone down, get pedestrians to walk safer. But the sad fact is, it happens. We still have fatalities,” said Capt. Stason Tanaka with the traffic division at the Honolulu Police Department.

Of the 20 traffic fatalities on Oahu this year, 12 were pedestrians. Of those 12, four were aged 50 and older.

We also learned 1,500 tickets were given this year to pedestrians caught crossing while the light is flashing.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is when you have the ‘don’t walk’ signal, you cannot walk into the crosswalk. That’s a violation,” explained Tanaka.

Police issued 2,195 tickets to pedestrians caught jay-walking so far in 2016.

As for drivers, 445 tickets were handed out for failing to yield to pedestrians.

“A ticket for a pedestrian violation is a $130. Yes, that’s probably not popular,” said Tanaka.

As for drivers caught not yielding to pedestrians, “if you cut a pedestrian off in the crosswalk, those citations are serious. The drivers are required to go to court,” he said.

HPD says fines for drivers vary and depend on the judge’s ruling.

Police will start heavy enforcement for pedestrian and driver safety starting in July.

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