Slowing down Hawaii's pedestrian deaths

Kim Beatrice
Kim Beatrice
Rodney Shapiro
Rodney Shapiro

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Hawaii is one of deadliest states in the nation when it comes crossing the road.

And most of the victims are elderly people.

Just a couple of days ago, an elderly man was killed in Kaneohe trying to cross the street. It's the ninth pedestrian death on Oahu this year.

Kim Beatrice has had too many close calls.

"These cars coming up fast and it's red already, looking to see on the left," she said. "They want to beat those cars across, I make eye contact, or I stick out my umbrella."

But she's not alone. Many other seniors joined her at a safety summit. It's geared to bring more awareness to pedestrians and drivers.

"Well, a lot of people at times could be the inattention of the driver, could be the pedestrian whose inattentive, so these types of summits will help them realize that their safety is basically in their own hands," Honolulu Police Department officer Ben Lloyd said.

Yellow flags are fairly new, but already, more and more seniors count on them to help them cross the road safely. Still, Beatrice feels it isn't enough.

"I think we should be able to go to the bus company or police, can we take down the numbers or license plate numbers," she said.

Honolulu Fire Department's Rodney Shapiro feels people need to slow down and check to see if anyone is in there way.

"The drivers aren't always paying attention, they're not looking in the other direction, we're all probably done that and we're trying to make pedestrians more aware of that," he said.

Beatrice gave up driving years ago and walking is her only way of getting around. Although she's extra careful, she feels drivers should take more responsibility for their actions.

"Pedestrians are not too careful and drivers are really selfish. they only think of their own selves," she said.

Beatrice feels the only way we'll slow this problem down is by respecting one another.

"It's a wasteful way of dying, you're not supposed to die with a car hitting you and the misery it causes your family," she said.

Officials have scheduled more senior safety summits this summer. To find out when and where the next one is go to