Pedestrian-safety effort
focuses on senior citizens

By Nelson Daranciang

Honolulu police are alarmed by the number of traffic deaths involving pedestrians this year and have stepped up efforts to educate the most-likely victims, senior citizens, about pedestrian safety.

So far this year, 26 pedestrians have died in traffic collisions on Oahu roadways, compared with 24 for all of last year.

What makes the increase alarming to police is that the overall number traffic fatalities is down this year compared with last year, said Maj. Bryan Wauke of Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division.

Last year, there were 79 traffic fatalities on Oahu, of which 24 were pedestrians. This year, as of Friday, there have been 67 traffic fatalities, of which 26 were pedestrians.

Wauke said he did an analysis of traffic deaths and discovered that three-fourths of pedestrians who died in traffic collisions were more than 65 years old.

Most pedestrians hit by vehicles are seniors, and they have a lower survival rate, he said. Even when the injuries are not serious initially, a senior citizen's condition often worsens because of his or her age, Wauke said.

"We've been going to senior community groups to educate them about reaction time, judging distances, using crosswalks and making themselves visible," Wauke said.

Honolulu Police Department

E-mail to City Desk


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