Local Connection: Pedestrian Deaths

The last few months have been deadly on Hawaii's roads – especially for pedestrians.

With nearly as many pedestrian deaths in March as we have had all year, our state and city leaders offered sign waving and PR campaigns urging drivers to be more careful.

Frankly, that's not enough.

While some pedestrian fatalities are truly unavoidable accidents, or can be blamed on the pedestrians, many are due to alcohol, speed or inattention. Drivers who harm others by driving irresponsibly are often doing so out of bad habit.

A PR campaign or a tote board of death toll like the state DOT is offering probably won't change those behaviors.

What will change those drivers' habits is a heavier police presence on the roads and highways. Dangerous drivers will only clean up their act if they have a realistic fear of being ticketed and punished. For many areas, where police are understaffed, that is not the case.

The chance of being killed on the road in Hawaii is much higher than being killed by a criminal. Its important that police and prosecutor resources by put where the real danger is.

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