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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, June 26, 2001


State seat-belt law holds
to federal standards

Question: I was stopped recently for not wearing a seat belt. I had it on but was wearing it under my shoulder. The police officer said it had to be worn over my shoulder. Is this what the law says?

Answer: The state law itself does not specify how the seat belt should be worn, but it does say it should be worn according to standards set by federal law.

That means worn as designed, said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department.

The federal standards are specific as to the design and use of seat belts, said John Lovstedt of the state Department of Transportation's motor vehicle safety office. That's why, when the state law was being drafted, officials wanted to make sure there was reference to the federal standards, he said.

Hawaii Revised Statutes 291-11.6, dealing with seat belts, says, No one "shall operate a motor vehicle upon any public highway unless the person is restrained by a seat belt assembly."

It goes on to say that the term "'seat belt assembly' means the seat belt assembly required to be in the motor vehicle under any federal motor vehicle safety standard issued pursuant to Public Law 89-563, the federal National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as amended, unless original replacement seat belt assemblies are not readily available."

Meanwhile, be advised that Hawaii law requires all drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts. And, since last July, the law also requires all back-seat passengers under 18 to wear seat belts, while children under 4 are required to be in child safety seats.

The penalty for violators is $67, which includes a $45 fine, a $15 fee and a $7 driver education fee. If you don't pay within 30 days, it goes up to $92.

It's probably ylang-ylang

Mahalo to "very homesick kamaaina" Sasha Trueblood, now living in Bermuda, and another caller for providing the probable identity of the plant a former Hawaii resident was curious about. He asked if the sweet-smelling "lang-lang" that he remembered in Hawaii was the same as a plant, popular among immigrant Chinese, now selling for more than $50 in West Coast nurseries.

When we described the "cananga odorata" (the scientific name for ylang-ylang), he said it sounded like the plant he's seen.

Trueblood e-mailed that "ylang-ylang" is "used in aromatherapy to relieve a variety of physical ailments and to relieve tension."

We've since learned the ylang-ylang oil is produced from yellow, star-shaped flowers that have a potent sweet smell. Ylang-ylang means "flower of flowers," and its fragrance is described as aromatic, hypnotic, relaxing and a symbol of love. The oil is credited with helping with everything from treating insect bites and inflamed skin to rejuvenating hair, warding off infection and stimulating sex.

Meanwhile, for those who remember Trueblood, she said she lived "up the side of Diamond Head with Spence Weaver's family (of Spencecliff Restaurants)," then in Hilo before moving in 1991 to Bermuda "to pursue a career in intellectual property administration." She hopes to move back within the next year or so.





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Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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