November gearing up as deadly month on Hawaii roadsPosted on Nov 14, 2022 in Highways News, Main, News
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) reports eight traffic-related deaths happened in the first 10 days of November. This brings the total for traffic fatalities between Jan. 1 and Nov. 9 to 103, which is 25 more deaths compared to Nov. 9, 2021, year-to-date data.
Comparing the 2021 and 2022 year-to-date fatalities, there has been a 17 person increase in motor vehicle occupant fatalities, a six person increase in pedestrian deaths, an increase of two fatalities involving motorcycle, moped, or scooter operators, and an increase by one for bicycle fatalities.
“The increase in traffic deaths in 2022 is alarming,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Twenty-five people is roughly equivalent to the number of students in a full classroom. HDOT will continue to implement proven safety improvements such as raised crosswalks and no right turns on red, but we need all drivers and riders to follow the rules of the road.”
Contributing factors amongst recent deaths in November include motorcycle/scooter operators not wearing helmets, speed, and impairment.
According to HDOT’s attitude and behavioral survey, only 19% of motorcycle operators surveyed reported always stopping for emergency vehicles and only 53% reported looking for pedestrians before preceding through a crosswalk. Motorcycle operators are also the least likely among the modes to always provide the minimum of 3-feet of space between themselves and a bicyclist at 13%.
In addition, 47% of motorcyclists surveyed reported driving through a red light in the past six months and driving while feeling buzzed, and 41% admitted to driving 20 mph over the posted speed limit in the past six months.
Only 42% of motorcyclists surveyed wear a helmet, and 32% admit to operating a motorcycle without a license.
HDOT encourages motorcycle, moped, and motor scooter operators to refresh their knowledge on the safe operation of their vehicles by reviewing the Motorcycle Operator Manual here, or by signing up for the motorcycle safety course at Leeward Community College on Oahu. A video detailing what to expect from the motorcycle safety course can be viewed at https://youtu.be/dwRUeZxtGE4
In Hawaii helmets are required for anyone under eighteen years of age to operate or ride on a motorcycle, moped, or motor scooter. Link to the applicable Hawaii Revised Statutes is available at https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol05_Ch0261-0319/HRS0286/HRS_0286-0081.htm
Preliminary year-to-date traffic fatalities are available at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/files/2022/11/Fatality-Breakdown-by-Counties_10012020.pdf
Note, preliminary traffic fatalities may change based on the outcome of medical or other reports on recent motor vehicle crashes.
Motor Vehicle Fatality Counts
To be considered a motor vehicle fatality in the state of Hawaii, the fatal crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public and must result in a death of at least one person (occupant of a vehicle or a non-motorist) within 30 days of the crash.