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Speeding violations stir police concern


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POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Honolulu police said an unusually high number of motorists have been cited for speeding because of stepped-up traffic enforcement due to a high number of traffic fatalities.

“;Our statistics are telling us people are not hearing the message,”; police Maj. Frank Fujii said, noting the large number of speeders.

“;We are doing everything that we can. We are asking the public, 'What are you doing to help us? What are you doing to protect the people you love?'”;

Fujii said the reason for stepped-up traffic enforcement was the “;astounding number of fatalities”; in the first 2 1/2 months of the year.

He said there were 17 traffic fatalities as of yesterday noon, compared with nine for the same period last year and 20 in 2007.

Fujii said more than half of the 17 fatalities involved speeding.

Two men and a woman died after a high-speed single-car crash on the Likelike Highway before the John Wilson Tunnel in the early morning hours of Feb. 26, traveling toward Kaneohe.

An Air Force sergeant died on Feb. 22 after he was thrown from his motorcycle and struck by a car on the H-1 freeway near 7th Avenue.

Both vehicles were estimated to be going faster than 100 mph.

At a news conference yesterday, Fujii asked for the public's cooperation in slowing down and abiding by traffic laws.

Some 230 people were cited daily on average in early March, compared to the usual daily average of 160, police said.

Of the 1,616 speeding violations in the March 1-7 period, four were cited for racing on the highway and 60 for excessive speeding, such as going above 80 mph, or 30 mph above the posted speed limit.

Police also arrested 84 people for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, as well as cited 69 for seat-belt violations, 62 for pedestrian-related infractions, and 95 for moving violations, such as reckless driving.

Fujii said the effort was done islandwide. Patrolling police have been asked to enforce traffic enforcement laws whenever they have time during regular work hours, he said.