HDOT launches 7th annual statewide Pedestrian Safety Month

Posted on Aug 3, 2016 in Highways News, Main, News

HONOLULU – Governor David Ige and the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) kicked off the state’s 7th annual Pedestrian Safety Month with a proclamation signing at the State Capitol today. The only state in the nation with a month dedicated to pedestrian safety, Hawaii’s campaign aims to create heightened awareness of pedestrian safety, with the ultimate goal of saving lives and making Hawaii a safer place to walk. Pedestrian-related community events and campaigns will be held throughout the month to encourage safe pedestrian behaviors and raise driver awareness of pedestrians. (See calendar below.)

“Hawaii’s beautiful weather year round makes it an ideal environment for walkable communities, with people of all ages walking, jogging and moving about for both transportation and recreation. With more vehicles, more bicycles and more pedestrians, it is vitally important that all roadway users remain vigilant at all times and look out for each other,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “Unfortunately, more roadway users make Hawaii more susceptible to having a high number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The number one reason for pedestrian-related crashes is inattention – either on the pedestrian or driver’s part, or both. Our Walk Wise Hawaii program is an important tool that works with enforcement, safety engineering and other educational efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in our state. Remember to drive wise and walk wise so that all roadway users make it home safely.”

During today’s event, HDOT announced several new pedestrian-related initiatives that are targeted at pedestrians and drivers:

McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii Partnership

McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii is joining forces with Walk Wise Hawaii. To educate its customers on the importance of being visible while walking in the early morning and evening hours, when most pedestrian-related crashes occur, the restaurant will be featuring the “Be Seen at Night” message on tray liners at 74 McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii locations throughout the state during the month of August. Tray liners will include safety tips on how pedestrians can be more visible to drivers. It is expected that more than half a million customers will be exposed to this message.

McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii is also going beyond their restaurant doors to spread these safety messages. The company will be hosting a series of “Be Seen at Night” events throughout the state, where they will distribute Walk Wise Hawaii’s “Seven Steps to Safety” brochures and wearable safety lights for pedestrians. In addition, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii will distribute 9,000 brochures entitled “Seven Pedestrian Tips for Kupuna” at senior fairs and senior group presentations statewide through the Walk Wise Hawaii outreach program. As an incentive to be a good pedestrian, each senior who takes the Walk Wise Hawaii pledge to follow all seven tips will receive a coupon for a free small coffee or hot tea at any McDonald’s Restaurant of Hawaii in the state.

“We are pleased to support Pedestrian Safety Month as part of our commitment to educating kupuna, parents and keiki to safely cross roads as well as to inform drivers to be more aware of pedestrians,” said Melanie Okazaki, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii regional marketing manager.

Public Service Announcements

HDOT unveiled three new public service announcements (PSA) to remind pedestrians that it is illegal and unsafe to enter the crosswalk once the walk signal changes to the countdown timer or flashing hand signal. Each PSA consisted of two characters crossing the street, with the “more aware” character alerting the “less aware” pedestrian to refrain from crossing the street after the countdown signal has started. PSA #1 included a knowledgeable (but less aware) grandfather out walking with his granddaughter. PSA #2 included a woman jogging with her dog. PSA #3 included a businessman holding a puppet. Tag lines for the PSAs are:

  • “If a child can figure it out, so can you!”
  • “If a dog can figure it out, so can you!”
  • “If a dummy can figure it out, so can you!”

The spots will air on select television stations and movie theaters beginning in August.

HDOT’s Pedestrian Safety Month campaign is a collaboration of partners from the government, private and non-profit sectors. Partners include the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services; the four county police departments; the Honolulu Police Department’s Community Policing Teams and Neighborhood Security Watch Teams; Safe Routes to School; McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii; Moms In Hawaii; and the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information on Walk Wise Hawaii and a list of specific Pedestrian Safety Month events, please call 587-2160 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Walk-Wise-Hawaii.

About Walk Wise Hawaii

Walk Wise Hawaii is a public education program focusing on pedestrian safety and driver awareness and is sponsored by the Hawaii 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 since its inception in 2003.

About McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii

McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii has 82 restaurants and more than 5,200 employees in Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. In Hawaii alone, the company has 74 restaurants and more than 4,600 employees. McDonald’s total economic impact on the state, directly and indirectly, is about $370 million in spending and nearly 12,000 jobs in the community. McDonald’s prides itself on offering career opportunities to employees, with most managers staying with the company for more than 18 years. Follow McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii on Twitter at @McDonaldsHawaii.

Governor David Ige signs a proclamation announcing August as Pedestrian Safety Month with Ed Sniffen, Highways Division Deputy Director.

Governor David Ige signs a proclamation announcing August as Pedestrian Safety Month with Ed Sniffen, Highways Division Deputy Director.

Ped Safety Month Calendar

McDonald's Tray Liner