Driver liable for crash must meet condition
On March 26, my husband and I parked at Kapalama Shopping Plaza on Dillingham Boulevard. As we were getting out of the parking lot, he stepped on the accelerator, and the car moved fast backward, hitting two parked cars. I called 911 to report the accident. Two police officers came and interrogated my husband, asking for his driver's license, his age, etc. He said he is 68 years old and retired. One officer then commented, "At your age, better not drive anymore." Three weeks later, my husband received a notice of suspension on driving a car, with certain conditions. If he wants to retain the privilege of driving, he has to submit clearance that the damaged cars were duly compensated by car insurance coverage and make a security deposit of $5,500. For a first offense, is this true?
Answer: Not entirely true, at least as you've explained it.
The notice that your husband received is sent to any driver who is involved in a major accident and who is determined to be at fault, said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle & Licensing Division.
He pointed to Chapter 287 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes -- the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act -- which details what's required following a major accident.
"The notice requires that the licensed driver comply with one of the five listed conditions within 30 days," Kamimura said. "If the licensed driver fails to comply with one of the listed conditions, that person's license will be suspended."
The notice says a responsible driver may retain driving privileges by doing one of the following (we're summing up the detailed requirements):
» Providing proof of motor vehicle insurance coverage at the time of the accident.
» Depositing the full security amount set for the accident (in your husband's case, $5,500). The deposit may be refundable if no civil suit or judgment is rendered against the driver within two years of the accident date or suspension date.
» Providing proof of a "release from liability" from damages to any vehicle and/or property.
» Providing proof of a written agreement that payment for damages will be made in installments.
» Filing proof of a "Final Adjudication of Non-Liability" for any damages or injuries, certified by a court.
A major accident is one in which a person is killed or injured or in which the damage exceeds $3,000.
Such accidents require the filing of a police report and triggers the notice, which is called the "Order of Security Requirement or Suspension."
MAHALO AND AUWE
Mahalo to the courteous driver who allowed me to cross at the crosswalk at Piikoi Street and Kapiolani Boulevard about 6 p.m. June 1. Auwe to the driver behind him, with a disabled parking placard and vanity license plate, who tooted his horn at him. The only handicap I can observe was in your brain! -- Rob/Ala Moana
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