Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Kokua Line
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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, August 5, 1999


HPD cites safety
sticker scofflaws

Question: Why do we need safety stickers for our car every year when there are so many cars on the road without safety stickers? The police don't check on this matter. Many drivers don't want to pay $15 for the inspection if they can get away with it. Driving to and from work every day, I see 10 or more cars without current stickers. I would say 10 percent of the cars don't have current stickers. Some are two or three years old. How do they get away with this?

To get a car registration, you have to have a current safety check form, but even the registration sticker is sometimes one or two years old. Why don't they just do away with the safety checks?

Answer: This complaint comes up periodically, reflecting your frustration with the scofflaws.

We haven't dealt with it for awhile, so we checked again with the Honolulu Police Department and city motor vehicle and licensing administrator Dennis Kamimura for an assessment of the situation.

While police aren't assigned to look for safety-sticker violations, officers don't just turn their heads when they see an obvious violation, according to HPD records.

Also, parking meter inspectors are now part of HPD and also citing cars with expired safety and registration stickers, Kamimura said.

"If we see (a violation), we will pull the car over and cite," added HPD Traffic Division Capt. Brian Wauke.

In 1995, 11,844 citations were issued; in 1996, 13,286; in 1997, 18,243; and last year, 9,005. Between January and April this year, 5,117 people were cited for expired safety stickers.

Wauke could not explain the more than 50 percent drop between 1997 and 1998. "Maybe people are complying," he said, although he didn't really think that was the reason. "That's just unusual."

Meanwhile, Kamimura reiterated that "there is no way" a driver can renew a car registration if the computer indicates the safety sticker has expired.

In some cases, the car registration may come up just before the safety check expires, in which case the registration is renewed because the safety check shows up as being current.

A month later, the registration may be current, but the safety sticker is not.

Kamimura believes many drivers simply forget to renew their safety checks in such circumstances. However, the problem should be caught at least by the time the next car registration rolls around -- assuming the driver registers the vehicle.

Kamimura said his office is not authorized to assess a penalty for an expired sticker.

Q: I have an existing state ID card, which I will have to renew by the end of this year. Do I have to produce a marriage license and birth certificate and Social Security number again?

A: If neither your name nor citizenship has changed, all you have to do is just show your current ID card, said Liane Moriyama, head of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Center, which oversees the state ID card program.

It doesn't matter if your address has changed.

Mahalo

To the man in a Mazda or Toyota pickup truck who saw us stuck on the H-1 freeway, 4:30-5 p.m. June 22.

Although he was headed in the opposite direction, he took the stadium cutoff to turn around and check to see if we were OK. We've never heard of anyone doing that! -- R.O. and F.O.





Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com




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