Many Worried Pedestrian Safety Bill Will be Vetoed

Bill Kernstock
Bill Kernstock
Barbara Kim Stanton
Barbara Kim Stanton

KHNL - Our roads are some of the most dangerous in the nation for pedestrians. Now some are worried Governor Lingle may put up a roadblock for safety improvements.

This Monday is the deadline for the Governor to earmark bills she plans to veto, and some are afraid that one on the chopping block is the same one that could make our crosswalks and roadways safer.

Senate bill 1191 calls for $3-million from the state Department of Transportation's highway fund to be used for various improvements. Many feel they are necessary, and hope it's not on the governor's hit list.

Our streets have a notorious reputation of being one of the most dangerous in the nation.

"Yu can read about it probably, every month somebody getting injured in the crosswalk or crossing the street," said Bill Kernstock.

According to statistics taken by AARP, more than 600 pedestrians are hurt, and 32-pedestrians are killed in Hawaii every year.

Senate bill 1191 was supposed to help, by setting money aside for safety improvements like better markings, better lighting, and better crosswalk timing.

"When I do cross, it's too short," said Georgie Navarro. "Especially for people my age or older."

"We have something that'll solve the problem," said Barbara Kim Stanton, the AARP's state director. "The administration and the Governor is considering vetoing it. And quite honestly, we're flabbergasted."

AARP says various people in the administration say there are concerns because the funding would be taken from the state's highway fund. That has everyone else concerned for their safety.

"I hope that she doesn't veto it, because i'm for safety for pedestrians," said Kernstock.

"I think it's definitely needed," said Navarro.

"This is a bill that has huge impact for the safety of our residents," said Stanton.

And it's all up to the governor for this bill to get the green light, or come to a dead stop.

An aide in the Governor's office says Lingle has not hinted on her feelings on the pedestrian safety bill. But on the state's website, Governor Lingle writes that she only vetoes legislation when it is not in the public's best interest.