Honolulu police to increase enforcement after spike in pedestria - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu police to increase enforcement after spike in pedestrian fatalities

So far this year, 79 people have died on Hawaii roadways. (Image: State Transportation Department) So far this year, 79 people have died on Hawaii roadways. (Image: State Transportation Department)
Traffic signs with eye-catching writing is the DOT's way of starting a traffic-safety conversation. (Image: Hawaii News Now) Traffic signs with eye-catching writing is the DOT's way of starting a traffic-safety conversation. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In the coming weeks, Honolulu police say they will step up enforcement to help combat the spike in traffic-related fatalities. 

This year alone, 84 people were killed on Hawaii's roadways so far. The most recent death happened around 1 p.m. Monday on Maui. Click here for details.

The most significant spike -- 26 pedestrians deaths this year, compared to four this time in 2017. 

"It basically boils down to people are distracted. They're distracted when they're driving. They're distracted when they're crossing the street. They're not on the look out for each other," said Capt. Ben Moszkowicz of the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division. 

Moszkowicz says of the fatalities this year, more than half have happened on Oahu.

He says officers will be targeting areas known for critical and fatal crashes. 

"Unfortunately, if it comes down to a police officer in plain clothes walking back and forth across the street waiting for cars not to stop, that's something we're willing to do. We don't want to, but we're running out of options that have traditionally worked for us," Moszkowicz said. 

Along with more police presence, the transportation department will be displaying the fatality numbers on its digital message boards every Friday. 

"As we go through the weekend, we're hoping that that message is going to resonate with everyone so that everyone can stay safer," said Ed Sniffen, deputy director of highways for Hawaii Department of Transportation. 

The department has been receiving mixed reviews about what the message boards say. The latest one read, "A lolo driver can cause a disaster."

Sniffen says the point is to start a conversation. 

"Some people are coming in and saying they love the messaging. Others are saying we shouldn't put it up there. That we shouldn't be putting up a general joke next to something as serious the fatalities; but both are talking about it and that's what we want," said Sniffen. 

Transportation officials say they will also continue educating pedestrians through their Walk Wise campaign, as well as work with schools and driving schools about roadway safety.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

  • News ExtrasMore>>

Powered by Frankly