HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police were out in force along the Pali Highway on Thursday, pulling over drivers who didn’t stop for pedestrians a day after an 83-year-old man was fatally struck while trying to cross the thoroughfare.
The fatality pushes to 33 the number of pedestrians killed so far this year on Hawaii roads.
That’s three shy of the all-time record of 36 in 2005.
Police say 83-year-old Raymond Endow was trying to cross the Pali Highway on Wednesday afternoon when he was fatally struck by a pick-up truck near Wood Street. Police said vehicles in the first two southbound lanes stopped for Endow, but a third vehicle couldn’t see him and didn’t stop in time.
As pedestrian deaths have continued to mount this year, police have pledged to step up enforcement while state officials have urged drivers and walkers to do a better job of looking out for one another.
Residents who live along Pali Highway say it doesn’t appear that message has resonated.
They say drivers continue to speed along the highway through Nuuanu, well above the 35 mph speed limit.
“If they don’t do something here there is going to be more people killed,” said Paula Kurashige, who is on the Nuuanu Neighborhood Board. He was also Endow’s good friend.
“This is our area and you are coming in from somewhere else. It’s 35, why do you gotta go 55, 65, it’s terrible! Terrible!"
Resident Audrey Ahana agreed, saying the area is just too dangerous for walkers.
“It’s scary. ... I see them coming and it’s scary.”
Neighbors remember Endow, who struck in the crosswalk, as a kind man who walked the neighborhood wearing a bright orange vest, looking out for other people’s safety and their property.
“He was so nice and you know, when I heard that ... I had just talked to him a couple hours before," Ahana said.
Kurashige said she appreciates Thursday’s enforcement effort, but said more needs to be done.
On either side of the Pali Highway in Nuuanu on Thursday morning, plainclothes officers were trying to use a crosswalk. Drivers that failed to yield were flagged down and handed out warnings.
Kurashige said there should be a light installed at Wood Street, and she wants more officers in the area.
State Judiciary records show that last year, police gave out an average 124 speeding tickets a month in the 35 mph section of the town side of the Pali Highway.
So far this year, the monthly average is down to 71.