Proposed Law Would Treat Tired Drivers Like Drunken Drivers

Freedom Blair
Freedom Blair

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Have you ever fought to stay awake, while driving? A new law being drafted in the state house could mean very still penalties.

The bill would make penalties for sleepy drivers very similar to those faced by drunken drivers. It came about after a man was killed in Ewa beach a few months ago, when the driver told police that he fell asleep at the wheel.

56-year-old Maurice Kong was killed when Honolulu police say a driver fell asleep at the wheel, and plowed into the construction site where Kong was working.

Like many states, Hawaii doesn't have mandatory criminal penalties for drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, but one state legislator is trying to change that.

"Because if I was the grieving families of the individuals who were innocently killed, I would be a little upset that there are no criminal penalties," said Rep. Glenn Wakai.

Wakai says it all boils down to personal responsibility. That knowing then you're too tired to get behind the wheel is just as important as knowing when you've had too much to drink."

"I hope the public can understand that we're trying to make people think about the decisions they make before getting behind the wheel of a car."

Professional chauffer Freedom Blair thinks treating sleepy drivers like those who are intoxicated is a fair proposal.

"At least, should be at least. You're endangering everybody on the highway, I would say its attempted murder. A person get in their car, they're taking their life into their hands and everybody else around them and we need to make sure they know that."

The bill will be introduced in January.

Weigh in with your vote -- should sleepy drivers who cause accidents be treated like drunken drivers?