'Drift' drivers mar the park: Call the police
For more than a year, I have seen the aftermath of car drifters using the grass area of Sandy Beach Park. Deep grooves have been cut again. The incidents seem to be organized since they happen mostly on weekends. The grooves cause 6-inch-deep tire marks that take years to heal. If drifters expect to have any respect at all, they should police themselves and stop destroying public property. If you look at the park from the air, it looks like a sea of doughnut holes cut in the grass.
Answer: Police and parks officials are well aware of the problem.
"Sandy Beach has been a popular spot for many years for driving at excessive speeds, and currently, drifting is considered a new fad," said Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation.
Drifting is described as a sport in which the car is made to drift sideways in a controlled skid.
This "illegal activity has not been a weekly occurrence at Sandy Beach," Takahara-Dias said, but the Honolulu Police Department is aware that drifters do favor the park and "has been closely monitoring the situation."
Anyone who witnesses drivers cutting "doughnuts" into the grass at Sandy Beach is encouraged to call HPD immediately, she said. Call 911.
The latest incident at Sandy Beach occurred April 1, and a police report was filed, Takahara-Dias said.
The cuts cause considerable damage, since the tire tracks go deep and require extra work to smooth over, as well as time to recover, she said.
There have been no reports of drifting at other parks, but large parking lots would be susceptible and attractive to drifters, she said.
Drifting was held regularly at Hawaii Raceway Park until the park shut down a year ago.
In December the Hawaii Stadium Authority authorized four drifting events in the stadium parking lot and said it would evaluate them before deciding whether to permit future events. The last event there occurred in February.
Q: While waiting at a bus stop in Kailua on Oneawa Street, I saw a vehicle with a Hawaii license plate that was cut out with metal shears to show only the numbers. The words "Hawaii" and "Aloha State" were removed for a more sporty look. Is this legal?
Under Section 249-9 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, license plates "shall" bear the word "Hawaii" on the upper portion and the words "Aloha State" on the lower portion.
The plates also must have a "distinct contrast between the color of the plate and the numerals and letters thereon."
Q: Is there any ordinance about license plate holders? I see license plate holders that are completely obscuring the name of the state, both along the top and bottom.
A: There is nothing specific about the holders, but Section 249-7 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes says, "Number (license) plates shall at all times be displayed entirely unobscured and be kept reasonably clean."
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