Hawaii lawmakers consider fines for trespassing hikers requiring rescue

Hawaii lawmakers consider fines for trespassing hikers requiring rescue
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are considering legislation that would impose fines on trespassing hikers who require rescue.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the bill introduced by Democratic state Sen. Mike Gabbard would require public safety agencies to seek reimbursement for search and rescue costs.

The measure would apply to those who knowingly enter a closed trail or disregard posted signs.

The first offense is punishable by a $500 fine. A third and subsequent offenses would be punishable by a $1,000 fine.

Gabbard says he aims for the measure to be a deter people from taking off-limits hikes.

Suzanne Case, chairwoman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, submitted testimony in support of the measure, but she noted it could prevent people from requesting help when needed.

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