Parking is OK when meters are broken
I parked my car on Nuuanu Avenue between Hotel and King streets recently but could not feed the meter because it was broken. Concerned that I would get a ticket, I went to the Chinatown police substation. The officer at the desk told me that you cannot park in a space with a broken meter or, if there is a bag over it stating it is not working, you will be ticketed if you do. With parking at a premium all over Oahu, how can they have such a policy? Is this really a county or state policy?
"The officer was wrong," said HPD Capt. Carlton Nishimura. If there is an indication a meter is broken, a motorist generally would be given the benefit of the doubt and not given a citation, he said.
HPD oversees the city's Parking Enforcement Section.
Nishimura advises calling police at 911 to report a broken meter. You should not mark a meter in any way, but putting a note or bagging it also is acceptable, he said.
If parking enforcement officers find a broken meter, they will try to repair it immediately, Nishimura said. Neither they nor police will "bag" a defective meter, he said.
However, the city Department of Transportation Services will place bags over meters when parking is not allowed because of an event. In that case, there also will be signs warning of the no-parking restriction, Nishimura said.
Police officers generally won't issue citations for parking meter violations: "We can, but that's not a priority for us to check meters," Nishimura said.
Q: I recently rode TheBus from Honolulu to Kailua. As we came down the Pali and all the way into Kailua town, the bus driver was talking on the phone. It is a seriously dangerous thing for a man driving a bus with all these passengers to be talking on the telephone. Is there a policy against this? This was a personal phone call, not business. If it's against the policy, I'd like to report it. If it's not, there should be a policy.
A: There is a policy prohibiting TheBus operators from using a cell phone, with or without a "hands-free" attachment while driving.
If a rider does see this happening, they should call Oahu Transit Services' customer service office at 848-4500 or send details on a customer comment form available on the Web site www.thebus.org.
"Bus rider safety and security is everyone's responsibility," said Oahu Transit Services spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy. "We ask that if riders see something unusual or unsafe, they should say something and report these situations to our customer service department to initiate an investigation, and appropriate action can be taken."
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