Think twice before running a red: HDOT nears rollout of red light cameras

After months of data gathering, the state says they're ready to move forward and select the intersections where cameras will be placed.
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 10:17 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 5, 2022 at 10:19 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Drivers on Oahu might want to think twice before running a red light. Soon, they could be fined without ever being stopped by police.

The HDOT is preparing to rollout red light cameras at 10 busy intersections as a part of a 2-year pilot program aimed at reducing recklessness on the roads.

The project has been in the works for several years. After some delays due to vandalism and malfunctioning equipment, the state transportation department says it now has enough data to move forward and select the 10 intersections where the cameras will go up.

“This is something that we at the Department of Transportation think could reduce the cost of enforcement, increase the safety of enforcement, and make people think twice before they do something like run a red light,” HDOT Communications Manager Shelly Kunishige said.

Proposed locations of the red light cameras.
Proposed locations of the red light cameras.(HDOT)

But some are skeptical of the program’s effectiveness.

Dominique Kahala lost his mother, 32-year-old Brianne Lee, in 2019 when a drunk driver fled police, and ran a red light at the intersection of Liliha and N. Vineyard.

Lee was a mother of six.

“My mom was like my number one fan,always supporting me,” Kahala said. “She was like my go-to person, she was my best friend and now I don’t have her.”

He’s still working on finding forgiveness for the person who caused that crash, and says programs like the red light cameras could be effective, but it’s ultimately up to motorists.

“It depends on the driver themselves, whether or not they take into consideration there’s a camera,” he said. “Based off your action, you’re not the only one who suffers from it. And now there’s six of us. Six kids without a mom ― me without a best friend and what not. It’s not okay.”

The HDOT hopes this preventative program will have a positive impact as they near the start of the project, installing signs and educating the community about it.

The locations being considered include Likelike Highway and School Street, Vineyard boulevard at Palama and Liliha, and two stoplights leading up to the Pali Highway.

Images of potential red light runners, will be double screened before police determine whether to issue a citation. The state also says regardless of who is driving, the responsibility of the citation falls on the vehicle’s registered owner.

The first time fine: Up to $200.

“Our goal here is not to make money, or issue tickets. So if we put up the system and nobody runs a red light and we issue no citations, it’ll be a success because that means people are following the traffic laws,” Kunishige said.

For more information on the $2.2 million project, click here.