To dial up enforcement, bill would allow county employees to issue traffic violations

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 10:34 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Proponents say a proposal before the Legislature would help police with parking enforcement in Hawaii by allowing any county employee to issue traffic violations.

House Bill 601 would apply to traffic violations along state highways.

House Transportation Committee member Rep. Nadine Nakamura introduced the bill. She said the idea stemmed from parking problems at Haena State Park on Kauai’s North Shore.

“What this bill does is it allows the police chief to use non-police officers to cite cars that may be illegally parked or have other traffic violations,” said Nakamura.

Nakamura said illegal parking along state highways is an issue all over the state, naming Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore as another example.

Reaction to the idea was mized.

“Uh, where are the no parking signs?” asked Laniakea Beach surfer Apollo Fleming.

Fleming said it is as if the warning signs don’t exist at Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore.

“I don’t think people really abide by the no parking signs because no one seems to enforce it,” added surfer Lucas Godfrey.

Meanwhile, bicycle enthusiasts like Chad Taniguchi said the measure is a great idea.

“Following the rules of the road is super important for safety and when people park the wrong way or in the wrong place, they actually create a safety hazard,” he said. “If you’re walking or biking, you might have to go around the wrong parked car and then you might get hit.”

The largest public worker union in Hawaii, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, has come out against the measure.

The union said writing tickets is not a daily function for positions outside of law enforcement and only law enforcement officers have the skill set to enforce violation. They also said it raises issues of liability.

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