Police urge motorcyclists to help reduce fatalities


POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2009

The death of yet another motorcyclist prompted Honolulu police yesterday to remind motorcyclists to exercise caution on the roads.

;[Preview] Honolulu Police Urge Motorcycle Safety

Hawaii has seen a lot of motorcycle fatalities and is asking motorist to take extra caution on the road.

Watch ]


Kiyabu urged motorcyclists to adhere to the speed limit, comply with traffic laws, wear protective gear and be aware of their surroundings.

“;If we all do our part to drive safely, then it's going to bring down the number of fatalities,”; he said. Police recommended motorcyclists also wear protective equipment that include helmets, gloves, brightly colored clothing, long-sleeve shirts or jackets, long pants, shoes or boots.

“;With the safety gear and traffic laws, you're going to be a lot less likely to be involved in a collision,”; said Kiyabu.

Overall, 13 traffic-related deaths have occurred in Honolulu so far this year.

An accident Sunday on H-1 freeway brought the death toll to five motorcycle-related deaths so far this year.

Tech Sgt. Willie Davis, assigned to the 15th Airlift Wing at Hickam Air Force Base, died Sunday at the Queen's Medical Center after he was thrown from his motorcycle. Davis was traveling more than 100 mph on a 2008 Suzuki motorcycle when he lost control on the H-1 freeway and slammed into a guardrail.

Three of the five fatal motorcycle-related crashes involved speeding, police say.

Motorcyclists often will operate their bikes beyond their abilities, especially if they just purchased a motorcycle or obtained their license, says police solo bike officer Kristopher Kiyabu.

“;They may ride beyond their abilities, test the acceleration or braking or turning capabilities,”; he said yesterday at a news briefing at Pearl City Police Station.

Negotiating a turn too quickly is another common mistake motorcyclists make, he said.


This year's fatal bike crashes

        The motorcycle-related deaths occurring this year:

» Jan. 1: Wayne Medeiros Jr., 36, of Honolulu was reported speeding on Kamehameha Highway in Waipahu. Police found Medeiros on the ground after he failed to make it around a left bend near Paiwa Street and struck a guardrail and large rock. The medical examiner determined Medeiros was under the influence of crystal methamphetamine.


» Jan. 1: Michael Galutira, 29, of Ewa Beach was riding a black 2003 motorcycle on Kupuna Loop in Waipahu when he failed to get through a turn in the road and struck a parked truck. Police said he was not wearing a helmet. The medical examiner determined he had a blood alcohol content level of 0.195, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.


» Jan. 10: Stanley Lambert, 57, of American Samoa was operating a silver Harley-Davidson and lost control while turning left onto Malakole Street from the Barbers Point Harbor. The motorcycle went off the road and struck a concrete piling. Police said he suffered severe head injuries. He was not wearing a helmet. Lambert died on Jan. 23 from his injuries. Police said speed was not a factor.


» Feb. 14: Shawn Wilden, 37, of Honolulu was speeding toward Kailua on a red 1998 Harley-Davidson when he lost control coming out of the tunnel. Police said he hit a curb and concrete railing and overturned. He was thrown from his bike and sustained severe head injuries. Police said he was wearing a helmet. Wilden died two days later.


» Feb. 22: Willie Davis, 35, of Kapolei was traveling more than 100 mph on a 2008 Suzuki motorcycle on the H-1 freeway near the Seventh Avenue overpass when he lost control of the bike, slammed into a guardrail and was thrown onto the roadway. Davis, a technical sergeant with the 15th Airlift Wing, was then struck by a car.