State rules restrict toys run by radio
I was running my radio-controlled land vehicle at Kakaako Waterfront Park when a police officer told me, "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can't run r/c vehicles in a public park." I've been doing this there for the past seven years and never heard of them being illegal in public parks. I called my local hobby shop contact, who is actively involved in setting up r/c race tracks in public parks, including a weekly event in Kakaako Waterfront Park, and he didn't know anything about this. I can see if there was a noise or nuisance complaint, but this was not the case. If there is such a law, can you send me information on how to look it up?
Answer: New park rules signed into law by Gov. Linda Lingle, which took effect June 11, include prohibiting "model" vehicles from being used in the parking lot of Kakaako Waterfront Park because of health and safety concerns.
"We've had a lot of complaints about those over time," said Richard Kuitunen, asset manager for the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which oversees Kakaako Waterfront Park.
"The parking lot is for vehicular traffic, and the little remote control cars caused problems for the safety of people driving as well the operators who are standing in the parking lot," he said.
You can find the new rules posted on the HCDA Web site at www.hcdaweb. org/index.cfm?section= development.
The HCDA's Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 15-210-13(d)(4), say: "Except in park areas specifically designated for the purposes, it is unlawful for any person to ... engage in model car, truck, or motorcycle driving."
The prohibition also is against model airplane flying and model boat sailing and apply to all parks in the HCDA's jurisdiction, including Gateway Park and Kewalo Basin Park.
Meanwhile, Kuitunen said any group activity with more than 25 people requires a park permit. A model-car activity would not be ruled out automatically, but, it's unlikely it would be allowed in the parking lot.
Some model vehicles possibly could be used in other areas, in which case, "we would have to review the application," Kuitunen said. "We have to weigh the benefits of all the people in allowing activities in the park."
Meanwhile, within state parks, "No person shall operate motorized aircraft, automobile, watercraft and other similar models except with the written permission of the (state land) board or its authorized representative," under the state Department of Land and Natural Resources' Hawaii Administrative Rule 13-145-28.
In city parks, no radio-controlled vehicles are permitted on roads or parking lots because of safety concerns, said Deputy Parks Director Dana Takahara-Dias.
A radio-controlled vehicle track is being built by a private organization at Keehi Lagoon Park "to address the growing interest," she said, while such airplanes are allowed at the city's Kawai Nui Airplane Field.
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