Driver held after speed allegedly topped 100 mph
Police arrested a 21-year-old Honolulu man who was allegedly speeding at more than 100 mph and racing on the shoulder of the H-1 freeway, narrowly missing two motorcycle officers conducting speed enforcement.
One officer jumped out of the way of the oncoming car. The other officer clocked the man traveling at 107 or 108 mph in a Lexus, said Lt. Gordon Shiraishi, of the Traffic Division's Traffic Safety Section.
Police arrested Jacob Kalani Leo Estevez at 9:14 a.m. yesterday near the Hickam offramp of the H-1 freeway. Estevez was charged with excessive speeding -- a petty misdemeanor -- reckless driving, racing on the freeway at more than 30 mph over the limit, driving without no-fault insurance, driving without a license and inattentive driving. His bail totaled $3,000.
Estevez is one of many drivers arrested this year under the new excessive-speeding law that took effect Jan. 1, which makes driving 81 mph or more a criminal offense. For first-time offenders, penalties range from a fine of $500 to $1,000, a maximum five days' imprisonment and mandatory license suspension.* Stiffer penalties apply for repeat offenders.
Shiraishi said the driver was heading east at 9 a.m. yesterday on the left shoulder of the H-1 freeway near the Radford overpass. The officers, positioned on the shoulder, "observed a vehicle coming toward them in the same shoulder lane at a high rate of speed."
When the driver noticed the officers, he crossed over from the extreme left to the right side of the freeway and tried to exit at the Hickam offramp, police said. He lost control of the car and hit a barrier, causing minor damage to the Lexus, Shiraishi said.
Estevez's passengers told the officers he was racing with another vehicle, Shiraishi said.
Shiraishi said that he had not yet spoken to the solo bike officers involved, but said, "I'm sure they were surprised when this vehicle was coming at them in the shoulder."
"I give credit to these officers," he said. "They put themselves on the line every day."
Although the two officers were not available for comment, fellow solo bike officer Derek Pa said "it's kind of scary" being out on the freeway. "You need to be very alert of your surroundings."
When setting up for speed enforcement using laser speed detectors, officers are trained to set up where there are areas of escape.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
» A first-time offender convicted of excessive speeding faces a fine of $500 to $1,000, a maximum five days' imprisonment and mandatory license suspension. A Page A5 story Thursday incorrectly reported that penalties included up to 30 days in prison and the possibility of driver's license suspension.