HONOLULU (KHNL) - Honolulu Police officers swarmed the streets, targeting jaywalkers. While some may see this as just a minor nuisance, it comes with a costly price tag. For some, a hefty ticket from police, but for the unlucky ones, it could cost them their lives.
It's an all-too familiar sight in Chinatown. People not paying attention.
"You're not in trouble listen" said Officer Anthony Roberts.
People don't understand the traffic laws.
"When you're crossing the street you gotta get across the street before the hand stops blinking etc..."
"Most people come from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Samoa, Hong Kong... they walk when they feel it's safe..they don't realize it's an offense", said Chinatown Business and Community Association President Chu Lan Schubert.
"It's a frightening offense because most of these people..this is their first encounter with breaking the law so they are very scared."
Since April 4th the Honolulu Police Department has issued 234 jaywalking citations in Chinatown alone.
Some are scared, and to help get rid of the fear is people like 84-year old Joe Young passing out information in different languages to help educate people to watch out.
"Jaywalking is so important.. a lot of people got hit they get tagged,...it's gonna cost over $100 per person."
The fine if you get tagged... $130... and that's a lot of money for many people on fixed incomes.
Honolulu Police Major Clayton Saito says HPD does not like to give tickets.
"Most officers don't like giving citations..they would prefer not too..but sometimes citations is the only way to get the message that this isn't the safe thing to do."
Kekaulike and North King Street is one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the city, and Officer Anthony Roberts was making sure safety comes first
"We just don't want anybody to get hurt on oncoming traffic so we just are out here educating everybody."
"Even saving one life is worth it..life is invaluable...priceless.