State Sees Decrease In Pedestrian Fatalities As More Safety Measures Are Taken
The Hawaii Department of Transportation has adopted various safety measures to reduce pedestrian fatalities in the state. In 2020, there was a drastic drop in the number of deaths reported, yielding a positive and safer 2021.
Let us take a quick walkthrough of various state initiatives that helped decrease the total number of pedestrian fatalities.
Overview Of The Problem
According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, there has been an immense need to complement initiatives that address pedestrian safety and create a community-friendly plan.
The main motive of such a plan is to improve the security of pedestrians through education of drivers and pedestrians, engineering of infrastructure, such as road design, signs, etc., enforcement of existing pedestrian laws, encouragement of better driving and pedestrian awareness, etc.
According to the official state website, Hawaii has experienced an average of 2.4 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people between 2000 and 2009 and has a national average of deaths of 1.3.
The Current Condition Of Pedestrian Facilities
In the state of Hawaii, most of the highways in urban areas tend to have at least 1 sidewalk on either side of the roadway. However, rural areas tend to lack pedestrian facilities and result in pedestrians walking along a paved shoulder.
Areas Of Concern
After immense discussion with esteemed personalities, the state government identified four major key areas of concern.
These include a high concentration of population, tourist hotspots, loopholes in the pedestrian system, as well as the increase death rate of pedestrians due to improper surveillance.
As per the latest data provided by the state government, a majority of the pedestrian crashes in the state occurred in urban areas.
However, most of the islands of Kauai and Oahu have also witnessed accidents in rural areas along the coast, when people tend to visit beaches and parks that lack pedestrian facilities.
Many officials of the state have requested motorists to drive with the utmost caution, and maintain the predetermined speeding limits.
Another initiative taken by the government is to increase the total number of crosswalks in the state. As a result, they have witnessed higher compliance as well as speed reduction by drivers with regard to pedestrian safety.
According to Ed Sniffen, the Deputy Director of Highways for HDOT, the speed reduction by drivers has resulted in positive feedback c
He further adds that in Hawaii, there are currently 23 additional crosswalks, and they still wish to extend them in more parts of the state including the Kuhio Highway and Fort Weaver Road.
The Federal Highway Administration strongly believes that by adding these types of crosswalks, they can reduce pedestrian crashes by approximately 45%.
Laws And Regulation
According to Section 291C-73A, the law has been amended by the 2005 Legislature and states that the driver of any vehicle is supposed to stop and yield to the right in case of a pedestrian crossing the road, or when a pedestrian approaches from the opposite side of the road.
Tips And Tricks To Be A Safe Pedestrian
As per Walk Wise Hawaii, certain tips can be implemented in order to be a good, safe pedestrian. They recommend individuals to always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk on the road, then they are asked to walk facing the traffic.
Furthermore, you need to dress appropriately. People are asked to wear bright clothes, especially at night, as they are renowned for their special reflective material.
Last but not the least, always keep an eye out for vehicles backing out of driveways and parking spaces.
On the whole, it is important to be vigilant and observant when walking on sidewalks. If you’ve ever witnessed or experienced any sort of pedestrian accident in Hawaii, make sure to consult a qualified Honolulu Car Accident Lawyer at Shim & Chang Attorneys At Law to find the best solution for you and your family.