Pedestrian Safety Bill Stalled Over Stoplight Camera Provision

Representative Joe Souki
Representative Joe Souki
JR Buenconsejo
JR Buenconsejo

(KHNL) - Eleven pedestrians have died on Oahu roadways so far in 2007.  Now lawmakers are taking another look at the best way to protect anyone who tries to cross the street.

Bill 357 would appropriate funding toward pedestrian safety improvement mainly in two areas. Installing traffic countdown signals, and improved markings that warn drivers of pedestrian crossings, but members in the house, don't want it to pass, unless a change is made.

Representative Joe Souki of Maalaea says, "This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with saving lives."

Bill 357 has been deferred until this Thursday. Law makers want a provision added to the original version that would allow "red light cameras" at key intersections. The cameras would serve as the eyes of the police department and would film cars running red lights. Police would be able to ticket those drivers by identifying the car's license plates pictured in the video.

But some people say that provision is just holding back an important bill from being passed into law. Those opposed to the provision also say it will not help protect all pedestrians.

JR Buenconsejo who was once hit by a car while walking says:

"As someone who was hit as a pedestrian, dragged under an S-U-V for 20 feet, and then pinned under a car, this bill, if you add the camera bill in there would not have helped me, because that person hit me on a green light. Even though I was in the crosswalk while I had the right of way, That person took a right turn without looking into the pedestrians."

The new hearing is scheduled for this Thursday.