Sick of 'burying our friends,' West Oahu residents call for safer roads

West side residents rally for safer roads after recent accidents
Updated: May. 17, 2017 at 12:35 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - West Oahu residents are calling for solutions to curb speeding and reckless driving following recent accidents on the Leeward Coast.

Sign wavers stood along Farrington Highway on Tuesday holding cardboard messages encouraging drivers to slow down.

Earlier this month, a man died after speeding and losing control of his SUV on Nanakuli Avenue. In April, a child was struck by a moped.

Nanakuli resident Mapuana Tector organized the event saying the reckless driving puts both pedestrians and motorists at risk in danger.

"We've lost a lot of friends and family within our community alone, which is Nanakuli. To say the least, burying our family and friends is no fun," she said.

Tector and other residents told the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board speed bumps are needed in the area, especially near schools.

Some residents are also hoping digital speed signs, guard rails and an increase in police presence could improve safety.

"Knowing that we could get a ticket for speeding and having the police on location, being a lot more visible, that would definitely slow a lot of drivers down," Tector said.

"Everyone on the beat has to take 'Take 30' it's called, where they do traffic enforcement," Honolulu Police Officer Joe Tabarejo said.

The board's transportation chairman Pono Higa hopes for help from lawmakers, but he said installing traffic calming measures is complicated.

"There are pockets along the Waianae coast that are privately owned, state owned, or city owned. And within the state there is also the Department of Hawaiian Homelands which has responsibility in the homesteads," he said.

The sign wavers believe they speak for many on the Leeward Coast who have seen too many sad results of speeding and reckless driving.

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