Hawaii traffic safety partners launch “No Excuses” campaign Labor Day weekend

Posted on Sep 1, 2021 in Highways News, Main, News

HONOLULU —  “It’s only 10 miles over.”

“I only had two drinks.”

“I’m not hurting anyone.”

There’s no excuse for speeding or driving while impaired. That’s the message the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT), the four county police departments, MADD Hawaii, and families who have lost their loved ones to fatal crashes want to convey to all drivers.

Out of 81 fatal crashes in Hawaiʻi in 2020, 32 percent were related to speeding and 47 percent of the drivers in those fatal crashes tested positive for having alcohol and/or drugs in their systems. Sadly, these trends are continuing in 2021. Out of the 59 fatal crashes so far, 31 percent were related to speeding. (Note: Impaired driving-related statistics are currently unavailable because toxicology results are still pending.)

“We are urging drivers to slow down, wear their seat belts and drive sober so everyone can get home safely,” Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen said. “There really is no excuse for engaging in risky behavior on the road that could possibly put you or your community in harm’s way. Especially when our health systems are taxed with treating COVID patients.”

Leading into and throughout the Labor Day weekend, HDOT and traffic safety partners—Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii Police Department, Maui Police Department, Kauai Police Department, and MADD Hawaii—are teaming up with community members and the families who have already been impacted by these heartbreaking crimes for a “No Excuses” Campaign. Campaign activities include:

  • New public service announcements (PSA) will be airing on television, radio and social media platforms. The PSAs remind drivers that there is no excuse for driving while impaired or speeding, and to slow down and enjoy the ride.
  • Sign waving will be held in numerous locations throughout the state on Thursday, September 2, and Friday, September 3. Family members and friends of victims killed in speed-related and/or impaired driving crashes will be present at select sign waving sites to share their stories.
  • Strict enforcement of Hawaii speeding and impaired driving laws throughout the weekend and holiday. All four county police departments will also conduct sobriety checkpoints and/or saturation patrols in support of MADD Hawaii’s Saturation Saturday, a nationwide event to get impaired drivers off the road.

“MADD Hawaii is proud to partner with the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation and law enforcement across the state on our Saturation Saturday mobilization,” MADD Hawaii Victim Services Specialist Theresa Paulette said. “As we head into the long Labor Day weekend, we urge everyone to plan ahead. If you drink, don’t drive. By designating a nondrinking driver or using rideshare, public transportation, taxis and other safe transportation options, there is never an excuse to drink and drive.”

Safe travel tips

HDOT urges Hawaii’s roadway users to:

  • Slow down and obey the speed limits
  • Always buckle up – every trip, day and night, year round
  • Plan a safe way home before you start consuming intoxicants.
  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even one alcoholic beverage can slow reaction times and impair judgement.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, be a true friend and take their keys away. Help them make other arrangements to get them to their destination safely.