Aiea residents ask drivers to slow down

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Keeping our kids and neighbors safe by telling drivers to slow down on Kaahele Street is the message area residents in the Aiea community want to tell drivers.

Newtown residents are conducting a third CTAP (Community Traffic Awareness Program) Project event on Tuesday at 4 p.m. on Kaahele Street near the Newtown Recreation Center. This area project is in collaboration with Honolulu police and led by State Rep. K. Mark Takai and community residents.

"The overall purpose of this project is to raise safe driving awareness and it has been successful in other communities to curb the number of motorists speeding on heavily traveled streets," said Rep. Takai (District 34 – Aiea, Pearl City).

"CTAPs are important to raise awareness in our communities that have chronic complaints of speeding," said police officer Anthony Bonilla. "We want to create a partnership with communities with concerns about speeders."

Residents and volunteers from the community will be out on the street holding signs to remind drivers to be aware of the speed limit and to drive safely.

"There continues to be a problem with people speeding up and down Kaahele Street at all times of the day and this often results in pedestrian accidents and fatalities," Takai said. "We need drivers to obey the speed limit along this street and be aware of pedestrians in the crosswalk."

On October 12, 2009, a Harbor Terrace resident was walking in the crosswalk and hit by a vehicle. She subsequently died from the injuries sustained in the accident.

Another incident involved a young man walking his dog, crossing the street, in the crosswalk near Newtown Rec. Center, in the afternoon. The driver of the vehicle who hit the boy and his dog claimed he did not see them as he was speeding downhill. The boy sustained minor injuries, but his dog, that took most of the impact of the accident, died from the accident.

"Drivers have to be mindful of people crossing the street," said Aiea resident Julia Mayne. "I think it's wonderful to make people aware that they should not be speeding on Kaahele Street because people are crossing the street too."

Mayne is one of the community residents who has participated in the past two Kaahele Street C-TAP events in October and November 2010.

"This is a heavily traveled road in Aiea, not only by community residents, but also by those using Kaahele Street as a passageway to Pearl City and Pacific Palisades," Takai said. "The goal of the project is to make drivers slow down and be aware of pedestrians in the crosswalk."

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