Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Fines vary for
traffic violations

Question: I received a parking ticket and was fined $30. Is there a chart that says what the fees are for any parking or traffic violation? I read where Councilman Jon Yoshimura paid a $35 fine after pleading no contest to leaving the scene of an accident. The amount of the fines for the offenses don't make sense.

Answer: Penalties for various traffic violations are set by state statute, city ordinance or administrative rule.

Yoshimura was convicted under Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 291C-15 (Duty upon striking unattended vehicle or other property), said Milton Hee, manager of the state Traffic Violations Bureau.

The penalties are set by the state Legislature and provided for under Chapter 291C-161.

For a first offense (Yoshimura's case) under that section, the maximum fine is $100. There is no minimum fine. In general, a judge, in court, will determine the penalty within the purview of that section, Hee said.

Meanwhile, most parking laws are set by the city or county councils in each county. On Oahu, that would be in the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu's Chapter 15.

"In the case of parking violations and most moving violations, the court sets standard payment amounts for the convenience of the public," Hee said.

However, if a person decides to contest the case, a judge has "full discretion" within the applicable section to "set the appropriate penalty, which may be above or below the fine amount on the citation," Hee said. Only judges can change a fine.

The minimum fine for a parking violation is either $15 or $25, depending on the violation. But since July 1, 1999, the Legislature approved administrative fees to be tacked on to the fines.

That would be an additional $5 to a parking violation; $15 to an equipment violation; and $20 to a moving violation, Hee said.

Q: I was going Ewa on the H-1 freeway and got off at the Lunalilo exit recently. It took me 12 to 15 cycles of the traffic light to get to Piikoi and Lunalilo! The problem was drivers turning left from Piikoi to Lunalilo, to get into the middle lane heading for H-1. They ended up blocking the way for drivers on Lunalilo heading to Pensacola. Can part of the solution be police officers posted there during peak times?

A: Police are well aware of the problem you cite at that intersection, said Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

"The problem was exacerbated by people trying to get into the (Makiki) post office to mail Christmas gifts last month," she said.

In the two weeks before Christmas Day, police issued 70 citations to drivers blocking the intersection.


To the kind gentleman at Star Market on South King Street on Nov. 9. We had a cart full of groceries for the week left of our time on Oahu, but let him go ahead in the checkout line as he had only two items. When it came time to pay, we found he had given the clerk $20 to help cover our purchases. We are back home in Arizona, but these two white-haired sisters with the cart full of TV dinners will always remember him for his "random act of kindness." -- Waneta and Fern


To the driver of a white Mustang who hit my car on Dole Street in December and did not stop. You made a big scratch on my new car and you should be responsible for paying for the damage. -- Upset

Useful telephone numbers

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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