Hawai’i Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Dieter H. Blattler, Traffic Services Coordinator
August 10, 2010
The Hawai’i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section organized a sign-waving event on Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo on Monday (August 9). This event was to boost awareness that on August 6, Governor Linda Lingle declared August 2010 as "Pedestrian Safety Month" for the State of Hawai’i.
Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona Jr. and the state Department of Transportation (DOT) kicked off the state’s first Pedestrian Month with a proclamation signing at the state capitol. The DOT’s Walk Wise Hawai’i program is teaming up with public and private partners to spearhead a series of events and campaigns aimed at promoting pedestrian safety awareness. "Hawai’i has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the country," Aiona said. "While it will take a combination of stricter laws, ongoing education and various road safety improvements to address this serious problem, we all need to use more caution and courtesy when driving and walking."
The Traffic Services Section was supported by the MADD Coordinator, representatives of the Office for Social Ministry, Farmer’s Insurance employees, individual community members, Community Policing officers and officers of the Traffic Enforcement Unit.
According to Fatality Analysis Reporting System, from 2005 through 2009, 25 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in Hawai’i County. So far this year, one of the 20 traffic fatalities involved a pedestrian. At least half of the fatalities involved alcohol, drugs or both. Therefore, motorists were also reminded that police are enforcing "Over the limit – under arrest" all year long.
"If you drink and don’t have a sober, licensed designated driver, don’t take a chance—take a taxi," said Dieter Blattler, the Police Department’s traffic safety coordinator.