It’s been less than one month into the new year and Honolulu police have been called to four pedestrian fatalities.
The most recent one happened Monday night on Salt Lake Boulevard near Kahuapaani Street.
On Thursday, KHON2 went back to the scene. Pedestrians we spoke to say they do have their concerns.
“Late at night, a lot of people tend to speed in this area, and you can really hear some of the speeding sometimes. It’s not really great,” said Salt Lake resident Travis Namahoe.
Earlier this month, Honolulu police kicked off a campaign that focuses on pedestrian enforcement.
“We stepped up the pedestrian enforcement around the beginning of the year, around the 12th, and since then, the traffic division alone has issued 342 citations and those are pedestrian-related,” said Maj. Calvin Tong, commander of the Honolulu Police Department’s Traffic Division. “So a motorist could also be cited for violating the pedestrian’s right of way.”
KHON2 was there when officers were citing pedestrians and drivers on Keeaumoku and Makaloa streets. On Thursday, we went back to the intersection and saw that people are still stepping into the crosswalk once the traffic signal countdown has begun.
“That’s common. That happens all the time. Once the countdown goes, people are still walking, even when it gets close to zero,” said Honolulu resident Michael York.
Pedestrians caught jaywalking or disregarding traffic signals can be fined $130. Drivers not stopping for pedestrians can face a $70 fine.
One woman told KHON2 she learned about the law while watching the news. She says it’s not worth paying the hefty fine.
“I’m not stepping off of the curb when there’s the red countdown and I always watch for cars,” said Lorraine Fritzke, a visitor from Canada.
HPD says the key to reducing pedestrian fatalities is through education. That means both pedestrians and drivers need to do their part and make good decisions.
“We’re giving a lot of citations, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to educate the public. If we can avoid one fatality, that would be our ideal goal,” said Tong. “So if everybody does their share and makes good decisions, hopefully by the end of the year, we’ll only have four fatalities.”
According to HPD, this is all part of a four-week campaign, but officers will continue to enforce these laws year-round.