By law, drivers must yield to pedestrians
If a pedestrian enters a crosswalk while the "Don't Walk" light is blinking, do motorists have to wait until the pedestrian is off the motorists' side of the roadway before driving through? At busy intersections (e.g., Punchbowl and Beretania), traffic backs up because pedestrians start crossing while the "Don't Walk" signal is blinking. By the time the pedestrian clears the crosswalk, the light has turned red, and the motorist (and everyone behind him) must wait for the next change of light.
Answer: The law does not require the pedestrian "to be in the right" for motorists to obey their part of the law, said Lt. Jerry Wojcik, of the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division.
Although pedestrians should not begin crossing once the light is blinking, "the law is clear" on what a motorist is supposed to do.
Wojcik cited Section 291C-72 of the state Traffic Code: "The driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger."
It's common sense and spelled out in the law (Section, 291C-74) that "every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway."
Wojcik also explained what the pedestrian signals mean:
"The white walking figure means you can cross. The red flashing hand means for people in the crosswalk to continue walking, but persons on the sidewalk cannot start to cross. The steady red hand means don't cross."
Q: I have some very good usable household items such as dishes, glassware, Tupperware, sheets, blankets, etc., that I would like to donate to a transitional housing program in Waianae or Kalaeloa. Can you please direct me to where I can drop off these items?
A: Catholic Charities Hawaii's Ma'ili Land Transitional Housing Program would welcome your donations.
Call 696-4885 to make sure someone will be around to receive the items, said Betty Lou Larson, director of Catholic Charities Hawaii Housing Programs.
Ma'ili Land has 44 families at any one time, and new families are always coming in, she said. In addition to a food pantry and clothing bank, Ma'ili Land has an incentive store featuring new or practically new items.
Residents can make purchases at that store using points they've accumulated each month.
Adult residents can earn points by attending classes, for example, and children can buy toys using points earned by doing their homework, Larson said.
"It's a motivational thing," she said. "It supports those who are doing the right thing."
Ma'ili Land was set up to help "families with children obtain affordable permanent housing through case management, employment training, budgeting and education classes."
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers