HONOLULU (KHON2) — County and State officials are telling vendors who sell everything from fish to flowers to get off the side of the road.
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The Hawaii Police Department said street vending rules will be enforced starting in December, 2023.
Street vending is already illegal on State and County roads, but it is not commonly enforced. Hawaii County said police officers will have another duty in December.
“They’re going to go out and they’re going to be assisting people in finding safer and better locations to do their business,” Hawaii County Public Information Officer Cyrus Johnasen said.
The concern is not necessarily where the vendors are — some are far enough off the road that they are not in the right-of-way.
“But it’s where the cars that have to park to attend these vendors or to get these items where they’re parking and where, you know, where they’re situating their vehicle,” Johnasen said.
The Transportation Department said vending from a State highway carries up to a $1,000 fine, so they are giving vendors until December to figure things out.
“Part of that is a kindness to the community, members who may be engaging in this activity and maybe were not aware this was illegal,” said HDOT Communications Manager Shelly Kunishige. “So this is kind of a , ‘Hey, this is illegal. You need to find somewhere else to conduct your business.'”
County Council member Michelle Galimba said she is happy for the month and a half advance notice of enforcement and had an idea of where the vendors will go.
“A really good option is the farmers market, there’s more and more of them springing up,” Galimba said, “so those are, you know, usually set up to do the same kind of thing. We need to have that, more of that entrepreneurial spirit here in Hawaii.”
KHON2 asked the County about their message to those who will be impacted.
“We’re not just going out with an iron fist and trying to kick people off of the side of the street and just telling them they can’t do what it is that they’re doing to make money to make ends meet,” Johnasen said. “We’re trying to do this in a way that’s systematic, it’s informational and it’s really actually helpful to everyone.”
Hawaii police will begin the enforcement on Friday, Dec. 1 and Department of Transportation officials stressed that street vending on any State highway is illegal on every island.