Amid spike in pedestrian deaths, stats on fatalities plastered on road signs

Updated: Mar. 16, 2018 at 3:47 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii Department of Transportation)
(Image: Hawaii Department of Transportation)

OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In an effort to tackle a significant spike in pedestrian deaths this year, the state Department of Transportation is broadcasting weekly traffic fatality statistics and safety information on Oahu highway messaging boards.

This year, 14 pedestrians have been killed on roadways in Hawaii. In all of 2017, 15 pedestrians died.

Oahu accounts for nine of the pedestrian fatalities in 2018.

And officials said most of the victims were killed in marked crosswalks.

Meanwhile, as of March 15, there have been 20 automobile deaths in the islands, according to preliminary state data. Although the cases are still being investigated, alcohol, drugs and speed are believed to be contributing factors in at least seven of the incidents.

The messages and statistics will also be shared on the state Transportation Department's website and social media accounts.

"Although we're talking numbers and statistics, I want everyone to remember what each number represents," said Gov. David Ige, in a news release. "A family member or friend is lost forever every time the traffic fatality count increases."

As part of the campaign, the state will also start sharing the year-to-date preliminary traffic death total over its dynamic message signs.

The signs are placed all over Oahu in areas where they can inform drivers of traffic incidents, travel times and other information.

"This year, nearly three-quarters of the deaths on Hawaii roads have been pedestrians," Ige said. "That is an unacceptable start to the year and we're committing to raising awareness of safe driving and pedestrian behaviors."

Police Lt. Ben Moszkowicz said traffic fatalities are happening statewide, and everyone has a responsibility to address them.

"They happen where you work, where you live and all points in between," he said.

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