Next month, state wants to remind drivers and walkers to look out for each other

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About one-fourth of traffic fatalities in the islands are pedestrians.

That's why Hawaii is dedicating an entire month to pedestrian safety.

The awareness campaign, which kicks off Aug. 1, is meant to remind drivers and walkers to be more attentive on the roads.

"We're seeing a lot more awareness in the drivers and a lot more awareness in the pedestrians. It's an excellent thing. But one pedestrian fatality is still too many so were still looking at how we can do things better to protect everybody," state Highways deputy Director Ed Sniffen said.

But acting Honolulu Police Department Chief of Police Cary Okimoto said there's also a lot of work to do.

"I still see people on their cell phones, definitely. Either texting or using a cell phone and that is a problem," he said.

'Whether you're a pedestrian or a driver, make that eye contact to make sure that that person -- they see each other and they're both on the same page."

As part of the pedestrian safety month, the state Transportation Department's "Walk Wise Hawaii" program will give safety presentations to 5,000 Girl Scouts statewide. Girl Scout troops will then create a safety project to share key Walk Wise Hawaii safety tips and earn a Walk Wise Hawaii Pedestrian Safety Patch.

The state also unveiled a new "Drive Wise Hawaii" brochure aimed at drivers giving them tips for keeping pedestrians safe.

There is a bright spot as the state kicks off the safety month.

Last year, there were 32 pedestrian fatalities in Hawaii. So far this year, there has only been one.

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