With 13 traffic fatalities reported on Maui just this year, police plead for community’s help

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 5:54 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 6:11 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An alarming increase in traffic fatalities on Maui has police stepping up enforcement and asking for the community’s help.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in fatal crashes in Maui County,” said Maui Police Department Traffic Commander Lt. William Hankins.

Thirteen people have died on Maui’s roads so far this year. That’s compared to six this same time last year, and 16 the year before that.

“The numbers are climbing back up, and these are not visitor numbers, these are local Maui residents who have been killed,” Hankins said.

Hankins says the numbers are staggering and most of the deaths were preventable.

“It’s alcohol and drug-related crashes. To add to that, we have speed. Our speeding fatalities are at 61% this year. Our drug and alcohol impairment are at 61% this year. These numbers are unacceptable,” he said.

This is more than double the national average for DUI fatalities.

MPD’s DUI Task Force Supervisor Sgt. Nick Krau says it’s frustrating.

“I’m the one that has to notify those families that their loved ones were killed,” Krau said. “I’ve done it so many times and for so long, but it never gets easier knowing that you’re going to tell someone the worst possible news that they could ever hear.”

So far this year, MPD has pulled more than 4,000 people over for speeding and have arrested 450 people for impaired driving.

Despite the increase in enforcement, Lt. Hankins and Sgt. Krau say it’s not enough, and they need the community to get involved.

“We’ve learned one thing for sure that this is not a problem that we are going to enforce our way out of. We need the community’s help,” said Hankins. “We’re begging the community to help us make the right decisions.”

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.