Cyclists raise concerns over HPD's crackdown on bicycle violations

Updated: Mar. 23, 2018 at 6:10 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Local bicycling groups were pleased that Honolulu police got a federal grant to improve bicycle safety on Oahu. But now many cyclists feel they're being targeted for tickets.

The Hawaii Bicycling League says officers have been citing cyclists for violations like not having registration or rear reflectors in broad daylight. One witness said a woman was ticketed for hanging a shopping bag on her handlebars.

Chad Taniguchi, the league's executive director, says he appreciates HPD and knows everyone needs to follow the rules, but he says he wants officers to focus their efforts on more serious violations.

Taniguchi says the most dangerous behaviors for cyclists are riding against traffic, running red lights, and riding at night without lights or reflectors.

"If they (HPD) really are trying to promote bicycle safety and the safety of people riding bikes, then they should ticket those behaviors that are really dangerous, and not discourage people from riding in general," said Taniguchi.

Taniguchi himself even got a $70 ticket for his bike not being registered because he says the officer didn't know the law.

His bike isn't required to be registered because its wheels are smaller than 20 inches in diameter.

"I told him, but he said, 'I'm going to give you a ticket anyway. Tell it to a judge,'" said Taniguchi. "To me, it's not right, but they're choosing more convenient targets," he added.

In a statement, HPD says this is all part of the department's overall effort to make Oahu's roads safer.

The department says the times and locations of enforcement are based on traffic volume and limited to areas where cyclists, drivers, and officers can safely interact.

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