HPD hopes wrecked cars along roadways will deter drunk driving during the holidays

The push comes after an alarming increase in traffic fatalities this year

HPD hopes wrecked cars along roadways will deter drunk driving during the holidays
HPD hopes it will serve as a jolting reminder to drive safely (Source: Hawaii News Now)

NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mangled cars lined Farrington Highway Wednesday afternoon serving as a reminder to motorists to drive safe and sober this holiday season.

“We have had numerous accidents, tragedies, that impact a lot of families,” said Patty Kahanamoku-Teruya, President of Waianae Coast Community Foundation.

The non-profit organization, along with others and the Honolulu Police Department is taking a stand against drunk driving and overall safety behind the wheel.

The push to raise awareness comes the same day Oahu saw its latest traffic-related fatality.

Honolulu police said a 54-year-old woman died from her head injuries Wednesday after she was hit by a car Tuesday at the Mililani Shopping Center.

Investigators say a 74-year-old man hit a car while reversing at a drive-thru ATM which then hit struck the victim.

HPD says her death marks 61 traffic fatalities this year, 27 of which were pedestrians. That is compared to 46 traffic fatalities this same time last year, 11 of which were pedestrians.

For Ed and Paula Werner, every traffic-related fatality on Oahu’s roadways are a constant and painful reminder of losing their 19-year-old son.

Kaulana, a former Kamehameha Schools football player, was killed by an alleged drunk driver right outside his Nanakuli home in 2016.

“What we go through every day, it can all be prevented,” said Kaulana’s mother Paula. “Our tragedy is something you don’t want to go through.”

“We know there was a lot of family members that lost a loved one. We know what they are going through. And as long as we can come out here and spread the word to prevent something like that from happened, it’s all worth it,” said Ed, Kaulana’s dad.

Honolulu Police officers say they hope the wrecked cars is a jolting reminder of the importance of driving safe, especially during the holidays.

“Try to get them to see, yes, this is something that’s real. This is something that can happen to you," said HPD Chaplain Wynn Werner. “And it’s had its impact. The very first year we put this program out, we had zero fatalities from Thanksgiving through the New Years."

The group will be sign-waving again on December 27th and January 10th.

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