Saturday, November 11, 2006


Law enforcement only to avoid criticism results in tragedy

From articles yesterday in the Honolulu Advertiser and in the Star-Bulletin we learn that 75 is the magic number of deaths for HPD to begin enforcing the law on speeding. HPD is confirming that their inaction has led to avoidable deaths. This is a tragedy and a shame.

It reminded me of the oft-heard claim that several people have to be killed before the city will install a traffic light at a dangerous intersection.

Police Chief Boisse Correa should be enforcing the law each and every day in order to prevent avoidable deaths and injuries. Enforcement apparently works--according to the Star-Bulletin story, the last time the city formed a task force in the late 1970s or early 1980s there were no deaths for three months.

I'm also waiting for Chief Correa to begin enforcing the pedestrian crosswalk law. Drivers ignore the law routinely because the chances of being caught are essentially zero. They fail to stop at the intersection and then turn and cut right in front of pedestrians already crossing the street.

The city also has yet to adjust the traffic lights identified by AARP as not giving pedestrians enough time to get across the street. They should be scrambling to fix this identified problem before people are killed or injured.

On Tuesday more than 72 percent of voters said "yes" to the constitutional amendment placing a priority on developing better conditions in the city for pedestrians and bicycles. In order to fulfill this clear mandate, Chief Correa is going to have to keep his people on the streets every day, not just when the body count convinces him to act.

(See also earlier post: Laws are nice, but how to get them enforced?)


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