Pedestrian death toll hits 10
The Oahu pedestrian death toll for 2007 rose to 10 yesterday when a woman struck by a car on Farrington Highway died later at the Queen's Medical Center.
The 80-year-old victim was hit as she crossed Farrington Highway in a crosswalk, police said. The accident occurred just before 4 p.m. at the intersection with Army Road.
The driver of the car, a 26-year-old woman, remained at the scene.
Police said the woman was crossing to the mauka side of the road in front of the Aloha Quality Gas station at 85-803 Farrington Highway, near Pokai Bay.
Yesterday's accident happened about a mile from the scene of the last pedestrian fatality one week earlier. A man, 63, died Feb. 26 after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in front of the Makaha Surfside Apartments at 85-175 Farrington Highway.
Eight of the pedestrians killed this year were over 65 years of age. In four of the accidents, the pedestrians were in a crosswalk when struck by a vehicle, and four were crossing streets outside of crosswalks.
Two of the deaths involved pedestrians who were not in a roadway.
There were 20 pedestrians killed in all of 2006.
Pedestrian peril clips 100 in 1 day
The Honolulu Police Department steps up its road safety campaign
Police issued more than 100 tickets and warnings to pedestrians and drivers in one day as the Honolulu Police Department stepped up its road safety campaign.
The high number of citations issued Sunday shows that HPD's safety awareness campaign is not getting through to the public, police Lt. Jerry Wojcik said yesterday.
"There's a lot of people not following the law," said Wojcik, who is in charge of the pedestrian safety campaign. "I guess they don't care."
INTERCEPTIONS AT INTERSECTIONS
Of the 25 citations issued Sunday to pedestrians on Oahu:
» Fourteen jaywalked.
» Nine crossed the roadway against a blinking red pedestrian signal.
» Two crossed the roadway with a steady red pedestrian signal.
Of the 16 citations issued to drivers:
» Six failed to yield to pedestrians.
» Four disregarded a red traffic light.
» Six were cited for miscellaneous offenses such as no insurance.
Source: Honolulu Police Department
Last month, HPD launched the pedestrian and driver safety campaign after several pedestrians were killed. On Sunday the campaign entered a new phase as police began ticketing some violators instead of giving them warnings.
The HPD campaign is the second phase of Chief Boisse Correa's traffic safety program to make roads safer for the public. The first phase, a crackdown on speeders, began just before the holiday season.
Yesterday, an 80-year-old female pedestrian was killed on Farrington Highway, bringing the death toll of pedestrians killed on Oahu's roadways this year to 10, half the number killed in all of 2006.
For the past few weeks, police have educated pedestrians and drivers by passing out warning slips that look like traffic citations. But Wojcik said he does not see a difference in people's behavior.
"It's really disappointing," he said.
Police issued 41 tickets and 64 warnings in various locations across the island Sunday, the first day officers issued citations under the pedestrian and driver safety campaign. Of the 41 tickets, 25 were issued to pedestrians and 16 went to drivers.
The stepped-up enforcement has not been warmly received by some.
Police almost arrested one pedestrian for disorderly conduct after he became enraged when an officer issued him a warning for crossing a Waikiki street against a red pedestrian signal.
"More and more officers are coming across that (type of) behavior, and I expect that will happen more," Wojcik said.
Pedestrians cited are required to pay a penalty of $70 to $80, while drivers are required to pay $97 to $107.
Police focused Sunday on several hot spots in Honolulu and Ewa Beach where fatal pedestrian accidents have occurred. Those hot spots included the intersections of:
» Hobron Lane and Ala Moana Boulevard.
» Pensacola and Beretania streets.
» Piikoi and Beretania streets.
» Fort Weaver and Renton roads.
Yesterday, police continued to issue citations at other spots such as Likelike Highway and School Street near the Kamehameha Shopping Center in Kalihi.
Wojcik did not have specific numbers for yesterday, but said he expected the number of citations would be more than the Sunday tally because of people's lack of attention. "People have to pay attention. That's all," Wojcik said.
"We don't want to use citations. We want people to change their behaviors and get them to realize their responsibility for their safety," he said. "The goal is to change their behavior."