Tougher Laws For Pedestrian Crashes Wanted

Tom Cullen
Tom Cullen

(KHNL) - It's been a dangerous year so far on Oahu's roads. Pedestrian traffic deaths are on pace to shatter last year's total.

State lawmakers are doing what they can to try and make our streets safer, but at least one victim says more needs to be done.

Tom Cullen demonstrates what happened to him at a spot on Kuahelani Avenue in Mililani seven years ago. He was struck by a car while walking home after a jog.

"I sustained lacerations and bruises all up my left side of my body, I had stitches in head, I had vertigo for a year," said Cullen.

He's okay now, but what frustrates him to this day, is that the driver involved wasn't punished.

"It makes me feel like a victim, and there are no consequences for bad driving," said Cullen. "At least he could've gotten a ticket or something."

This year, ten pedestrians died on Oahu's roads. That's already halfway to last year's total. Lawmakers are trying to stop it.

One proposal calls on a study to see if traffic signals are long enough for people to cross. Another says drivers could be fined for not yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Cullen says those are steps in the right direction, but it's not enough.

"My frustration is they don't want to make drivers responsible for their action, unless bones are broken and somebody's killed," he said.

But ultimately, even Cullen knows traffic safety is a two way street.

"It's more important that drivers pay attention to pedestrians, and pedestrians don't have their head up their okole when they're crossing the street either," he said.

Because not everyone will be as lucky as him.

The Senate's transportation committee is meeting on those two pedestrian safety bills on Monday.