Honolulu Police to step up enforcement after dramatic spike in pedestrian deaths


Honolulu Police are cracking down after a dramatic spike in pedestrian deaths.

State statistics show there have been at least 19 pedestrian-related fatalities on Oahu this year alone, compared to 3 recorded between January to September 2017. 

This includes the latest two from Tuesday night. 

Just before 8 p.m., a driver was pulling out of an underground parking garage near the Thomas Square Park. As she turned right onto Young Street, the woman hit a 71-year-old man. The medical examiner has not yet identified the man. 

Around the same time, a 55-year-old woman was killed while crossing Farrington Highway in Kapolei.

Police say the man was crossing near the Walmart when she was hit by a car going westbound.

The victim, who died at the scene, has been identified as Lusiana Vallejos.

The alarming spike in pedestrian deaths has the Honolulu Police Department cracking down. 

“We’re going to be stepping up enforcement for pedestrians, not only those crossing the street but obviously vehicles as well,” said Chief Susan Ballard. 

Assistant Chief John McCarthy says the department will begin issuing more citations, as well as continual enforcement of safety rules for pedestrians and drivers. Citations for jay walking is $130. 

At Wednesday’s police commission meeting, commissioner Jerry Gibson asked if most of the pedestrian fatalities occurred within a marked crosswalk. 

“It’s all over. A lot of it is outside of the crosswalks. Those with no local addresses, like the last two, those just darted out into the traffic,” responded Ballard. 

The chief described a “close call” she had earlier in the day. 

“I’ll give you a good example. Had to go to Hawaii Convention Center today. I had to do opening remarks for a conference. Sergeant Nancy DeFoster was driving me down. If she hadn’t been watching, there was a homeless guy in the median that was getting ready to step in front of the car. If she hadn’t stopped, it could have been worse. The drivers have to be so careful now.” 

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