‘The gloves are off’: Police pledge DUI crackdown as part of pedestrian safety push

City unveils pedestrian safety measures in wake of deadly Kakaako crash

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the wake of a triple-fatal pedestrian crash in Kakaako last month, city leaders on Thursday unveiled several new pedestrian safety measures while police pledged a crackdown on drunk drivers.

Police said last year, there were nearly 4,000 people arrested for driving under the influence.

“That’s not an enforcement problem. That’s a cultural problem,” said acting Maj. Ben Moszkowicz, commander of the Honolulu Police Department’s Traffic Division.

To end any perception it’s OK to drink and drive, police will add more roving DUI patrols to existing roadblocks.

“If you are drunk or you are high, we will pull you over. You will be arrested," Moszkowicz said. “The gloves are off. There’s no holds barred.”

The other target is inattentive drivers.

In 2016, a woman was killed after getting hit by a van turning right from King Street onto Keeaumoku Street.

That’s now one of 20 locations where the city will paint “Look All Ways” stencils as part an overall pedestrian plan.

The city also will also install 200 orange pedestrian safety flags at high-traffic intersections or those with recent incidents.

While the Kakaako crash shocked the community, city leaders say change needs to happen.

"I don't know if there's a design to stop that from happening as tragic as it is, but these kind of initiatives are trying to protect the public," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Barbara Stanton Kim, AARP’s state director, knows firsthand the devastating impacts of inattentive driving. She was severely injured by a car in a parking lot years ago and still undergoes physical therapy.

“I thought, I can’t believe he’s not paying attention. He’s just speeding to get into a parking space and he’s looking at the space and not at me,” she said.

Caldwell has also proposed a couple of bills at the state Legislature. One would ban right turns on red. The other talks about red light photo enforcement.

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