Council member seeks to revive proposal after 17-year-old was hit in a mid-block crosswalk

Local News

A 17-year-old remains hospitalized tonight after being hit by a car while crossing a mid-block crosswalk in Pearl City.     

Police say a vehicle stopped to let the 17-year-old cross the street, but another car tried to get around. That driver ended up hitting the girl, sending her to the hospital in critical condition.

Residents who live near the crosswalk say crossing the mid-block crosswalks along Waimano Home Road can be dangerous.

“Sometimes you don’t know whether the opposite lane is going to stop for you even if someone waves you on. So even myself, I almost had an accident once,” said  Larry Kurunaka, who lives nearby.

In light of the accident, one council member is hoping to bring back a proposal to alert drivers of oncoming pedestrians.

“The fact is that we’ve seen an alarming increase in the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities over the past year, and I think the problem is going to continue getting worse as we have more motorists on the roadways. We’ve got more pedestrians attempting to cross our roadways,” said Ron Menor, a city council member representing Mililani Town and Ewa Beach.

Last year, Menor had proposed a bill that would allow cars to turn on their hazard lights at mid-block crosswalks to alert other drivers that someone is crossing. He says the proposal is still pending before the city council, but has asked City transportation officials this morning to consider making it a pilot program.

“I think in light of this tragic accident and other near misses that I’ve seen in similar situations in crosswalks, that the City should give this pilot program a try. See if it works and if it proves to be effective, then I’ve told city officials to consider implementing it on a full time permanent basis,” said Menor.

He says now, there’s more of an interest to reevaluate or reconsider the proposal.

“Its going to take a multi-faceted approach, so the City Council has been encouraging transportation officials to look at every possible way to enhance pedestrian safety in terms of improving lighting, better signage finding ways to better enhance visibility of our crosswalks,” said Menor.

The next City Council Transportation meeting will be held next Thursday. Menor’s proposal may be considered then.

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