Chopsticks will not grab free wheelchair


POSTED: Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Question: I have been hearing from many people about collecting chopstick wrappers to be redeemed for a wheelchair. The story goes that after collecting a million wrappers, a company (varies) will donate a wheelchair to a needy senior. I “;Googled”; the story and came up with an article you wrote in response to the same question in 2003, which described this story as urban folklore/myth. Since I am sure this still applies today and bears enough relevance based on all the people who are still collecting these wrappers, can you print the column again?

Answer: The story still is not true.

Readers can check out, in which we debunked the promotion as an urban myth that's been circulating for years.

A variation is that people can collect silver foil from cigarette packs to also redeem for wheelchairs.

Q: We deliver vehicles from pier to pier at work. We drive from Pier 2 on Forrest Avenue, which becomes South Street, turn left onto Ala Moana Boulevard and proceed Ewa-bound. This is a heavily trafficked left turn because of cars and cargo leaving Pier 2. At this intersection we usually have to wait for pedestrians to cross Ala Moana before we can proceed. If a pedestrian is crossing heading mauka and enters my side of the road, do I have to wait until he clears all three lanes on my side of the road, or just “;until the pedestrian has passed the vehicle and the driver can safely proceed,”; as the law states? In some instances, drivers wait until the pedestrian is onto the sidewalk before proceeding, which stalls traffic and can be taxing, especially if the old lady from the shelter is crossing, who is impeded by her poor physical condition and age and uses a walker. We would like to “;proceed safely, expeditiously and legally.”;

A: The part of the law (Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 291C-72) you refer to says a driver shall stop for someone crossing within a crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicyclist is either “;(1) Upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling; or (2) Approaching the vehicle so closely or so rapidly from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger, and shall not proceed until the pedestrian has passed the vehicle and the driver can safely proceed.”;

In the situation you describe, you are required to wait until the pedestrian clears your part of the roadway, said Maj. Frank Fujii, spokesman for the Honolulu Police Department.

But as he has advised before, drivers should not “;get caught up in the letter of the law,”; but to take to heart “;the spirit of the law,”; which is to make the roadways safer for both pedestrians and motorists.

“;Every scenario is different,”; he said. But also consider the unexpected, such as the pedestrian tripping before completing the crossing, he said.

Safety, Fujii said, is the best rule of thumb.

Q: Who do we contact to have the city cut/remove a tree from the sidewalk?

A: Call the city Department of Planning and Permitting's Housing Code Section at 768-8159. It deals with sidewalks that are cracked, uplifted or blocked by overgrowth or other obstructions.


Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).