Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Saturday, November 20, 1999

Officers don’t have to
help stalled drivers

Question: Are police supposed to pull over to lend assistance to a vehicle in the "breakdown lane?" Is there a policy for this or is this an option for the police officer?

Answer: It's up to the officer's discretion, according to Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu. The officer is not required to stop.

However, Yu noted it would depend on the situation of the stranded driver. Also, if officers are responding to a call and pass by, "usually they will call it in on the radio."

Q: I've recently received a couple of postcards and noticed that the post office has put tape with a bar code on the part where the picture is. What is the purpose of this is and why does it have to be put over the picture?

A: The bar code is necessary to expedite the processing of mail on the U.S. Postal Service's automated equipment, said spokeswoman Felice Broglio.

However, officials realize there is little space for the bar code and that it might cover a message or photo. So the adhesive on which the bar code is printed "is benign and can come off very easily," Broglio said. Just start peeling from one end and pull it off, she said.

Q: I watched a mail truck in Aiea on Nov. 10. The operator had a cellular phone in one hand and was driving and delivering mail with the other. As she leaned over to put mail in the mailbox, she dropped several pieces of mail in the gutter. It was fortunate for the recipient it was not raining. Some states have laws against the use of cellular phones while driving. Perhaps the Postal Service should adopt that law also.

A: It is the U.S. Postal Service's policy that mail carriers do not use any cellular phones while working, said spokeswoman Felice Broglio.

The carrier in question was reminded of the policy and managers will bring it up in meetings with employees to reinforce the fact "that it is unsafe to use a cell phone while delivering mail," she said.


To a man walking his dog near Ala Moana late Monday afternoon, Nov. 8. By tying your dog's mouth shut with that leather noose, you are suffocating him. Dogs need open mouths when walking -- to release body heat and (like people) to breath. -- Irene

NOTE: "It's true that dogs have to pant as an essential part of their heat exchange," said veterinarian Dr. Eric Ako, executive vice president of the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association. "I would certainly agree and not recommend that anyone have their dog's mouth tied shut while exercising in any fashion."

Ako noted that dogs have very minimal sweating capabilities -- basically via their nose and foot pads.

If there's a problem with a dog biting, a more appropriate solution would be a muzzle that doesn't actually tie the mouth shut, he said.


To the large man driving a white van while talking on his cellular phone at 12:20 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5. You made a jump-start right turn off Merchant Street on to Bishop Street the instant the light turned green, almost hitting two of seven people stepping into the crosswalk. One lady jumped back and another was grabbed by the man behind her. The writing on the back of your van said "Safety is Our Goal." It should have said, "How Am I Driving? Call my boss." We called him anyway. -- K.H.

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
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