Hawaii Launches 5th Annual Statewide ‘Pedestrian Safety Month’Posted on Jul 30, 2014 in Highways News, Main, News
HONOLULU –Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) Interim Director Ford Fuchigami joined the state’s Walk Wise Hawaii partners today in Executive Chambers to kick off the 5th annual Pedestrian Safety Month in Hawaii.
Hawaii is the only state in the nation with a statewide pedestrian safety month, and the launch included a calendar of events throughout August to heighten awareness and ultimately save lives by making the Aloha State a safer place to walk.
“Hawaii remains by many measures the healthiest state in the union, in part due to beautiful weather allowing us to enjoy walking almost anywhere at any time, “Gov. Abercrombie said. “Pedestrian Safety Month reminds us that cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians alike share Hawaii’s roads, requiring everyone’s kokua for safe and efficient travel for all ages. I commend our DOT team and all the Walk Wise Hawaii partners for their collaborative efforts, recently recognized this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the Lifesavers Award for Public Service.”
This year, DOT’s Walk Wise Hawaii program is bringing together public partners such as the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services and all four county police departments, in addition to private partners such as AAA-Hawaii, Farmers Insurance Hawaii, Kamaaina Kids, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii and MomsInHawaii. Pedestrian-related community events and campaigns will be taking place throughout the month to encourage safe pedestrian behaviors and raise driver awareness of pedestrians.
“The number one reason for pedestrian accidents is inattentive behavior on both the part of the pedestrian and the driver,” Fuchigami said. “Our Walk Wise Hawaii program is one of the important tools, along with enforcement and safety engineering, to reduce pedestrian fatalities and accidents in our state. With the recent rise in fatalities, we must continue to be vigilant.”
Leading up to Pedestrian Safety Month, Walk Wise Hawaii partnered with Kamaaina Kids, an after-school program serving more than 8,000 children statewide, and McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii in an education campaign to teach Hawaii’s keiki and kupuna good pedestrian habits.
“After learning seven pedestrian safety tips during the school year, each Kamaaina Kid was asked to share this information with his or her family members in the form of the Kupuna Pledge Card,” said Ray Sanborn, founder of Kamaaina Kids. “Each kupuna or parent was asked to sign the card and pledge to their son or daughter to be a good pedestrian and once signed, every pledge card was redeemable for a complimentary McDonald’s of Hawaii Happy Meal.”
In addition, each Kamaaina Kid was asked to create a pedestrian safety poster based on one of two key pedestrian safety tips: (1) Always make eye contact with drivers while in a crosswalk; and (2) Always wear bright or reflective clothing while walking at night. More than 4,000 posters statewide were submitted, and the top 20 posters are on display at the State Capitol throughout August. The top two posters, one from each category, will be printed on McDonald’s Restaurant of Hawaii tray liners at 75 locations throughout the state during the month of August. It is expected that over half a million McDonald’s of Hawaii customers will be exposed to this messaging.
“McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii is committed to raising awareness about pedestrian safety and helping to ensure our keiki ‘stop and look both ways and continue looking while crossing the street,’” said Melanie Okazaki, regional marketing manager of McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii. “We are educating customers about traffic safety through our trayliners in August and have installed 31 decals of Ronald’s famous red footprints at 25 elementary schools statewide. These footprints serve as a fun way for children to practice safer habits.”
In addition, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii has committed to driver awareness of pedestrians by installing signs at its 56 drive-thru locations and 19 non-drive-thru locations statewide in August to remind drivers to always brake for pedestrians.
Farmers Insurance of Hawaii through its “Hot Spots” traffic safety program continues to raise driver awareness of pedestrians by working with community groups and enforcement to remind drivers of the dangers of speeding and careless driving near our schools and senior centers.
AAA-Hawaii continues to partner with the state by educating its members on pedestrian awareness while driving, in addition to supporting the Walk Wise Hawaii’s efforts during the Auto Show each March with an estimated outreach of over 10,000 drivers.
MomsInHawaii is joining Walk Wise Hawaii this year by launching its MomsInHawaii Pedestrian Pledge Card during Pedestrian Safety Month as a tool for mothers to teach their children about good pedestrian behavior. The online community of more than 2,800 Hawaii mothers will reach out to other mothers at community events statewide and share with them Walk Wise Hawaii’s “Seven Steps to Safety,” which will start a foundation of good pedestrian behavior for their children.
The following Pedestrian Safety Month campaigns and events are slated for August:
City & County of Honolulu
- National Night Out – the Honolulu Police Department and Neighborhood Watch teams from around the island will walk to promote safety in our communities in Kailua and Kapolei on Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m.
- First Friday Downtown Honolulu – the Walk Wise Hawaii street team will be in the Chinatown district promoting good pedestrian behavior and “being seen at night” since most pedestrian accidents occur at night.
- Walk Wise Hawaii’s Speakers Bureau and the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services’ Walk Wise Hawaii Team will be conducting dozens of pedestrian safety presentations at senior centers, community centers and elementary, middle and high schools.
- The Honolulu Police Department will partner with Walk Wise Hawaii in several pedestrian sign waving events on Oahu to remind drivers of the laws pertaining to pedestrians.
- The Walk Wise Hawaii Street Team and the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services’ Walk Wise Hawaii Team will be at shopping malls throughout Oahu asking people to take the Walk Wise Pedestrian Pledge. Check out Walk Wise Hawaii on Facebook for a listing of malls scheduled.
- University of Hawaii students and faculty at all 10 campuses statewide will be educated through a series of special events and presentations on good pedestrian safety tips for walking to class and driver awareness tips for those driving to school beginning in August.
- Hawaii Police Department will partner with Walk Wise Hawaii in several pedestrian sign waving events aimed at drivers.
- Mayor Billy Kenoi will award the Big Island Pedestrian Safety Posters winners at a special presentation on Aug. 12 at 3:30 p.m. at his office at the West Hawaii Civic Center.
- Trot Fun Run and Walk Historic Kailua Village every Tuesday in August from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Participants will receive Walk Wise Hawaii red blinking lights and yellow reflective shopping bags to promote “being seen at night.”
- Hilo Farmers Market – the Walk Wise Hawaii Street Team will be asking residents to take the Walk Wise Hawaii Pedestrian Pledge.
- Kauai Police Department will partner with Walk Wise Hawaii in several pedestrian safety sign waving and educational events.
- First Friday Kapaa – the Walk Wise Hawaii street team will be in force in the Kapaa shopping and dining district promoting good pedestrian behavior and “being seen at night” since most pedestrian accidents occur at night.
- The Walk Wise Hawaii Street Team will be at various shopping centers on Kauai asking people to take the Walk Wise Pedestrian Pledge. Check out Walk Wise Hawaii on Facebook for a listing of malls scheduled.
- Maui Police Department will partner with Walk Wise Hawaii in several pedestrian safety sign waving and educational events.
- Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will award the Maui Pedestrian Safety Posters winners at a special presentation on Aug. 8 at 3:30 p.m. at his office in Wailuku.
- Maui Friday Town Parties – beginning in August the Walk Wise Hawaii Street Team will be in Wailuku, Lahaina, Makawao and Kihei promoting good pedestrian behavior and “being seen at night” since most pedestrian accidents occur at night.
- Queen Kaahumanu Center – the Walk Wise Hawaii Street Team will be at the Center asking shoppers to take the Walk Wise Hawaii Pedestrian Pledge throughout the month.
For more information on Walk Wise Hawaii and a list of specific Pedestrian Safety Month events, call (808) 587-2160 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Walk-Wise-Hawaii.
About Walk Wise Hawai‘i
Walk Wise Hawaii is a public education program focusing on pedestrian safety and driver awareness and is sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Transportation through its “Safe Communities” program with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Walk Wise Hawaii has employed extensive outreach methods including partnerships with public and private entities. Over the past five years research shows that pedestrian crashes are the seventh leading cause of fatal unintentional injuries in Hawai‘i.