Hawai‘i Police Department
Traffic Enforcement Unit
Sergeant Christopher D. Gali
Big Island police are reminding the public to follow traffic laws at intersections. The Police Department has received complaints that motorists are traveling through intersections or making left and right turns after a traffic signal turns red.
One of the complaints is that motorists approaching intersections fail to stop when the light turns yellow and frequently even after it turns red. Only cars that have already entered an intersection before the light turns yellow should proceed through an intersection at a yellow light. All other cars should stop and wait for the next green light.
Traffic laws dictate that motorists must yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn without a left-turn arrow and must wait for the next green arrow after the left arrow turns red. A left turn on a red arrow could lead to a collision or at least a traffic citation.
Except at intersections where signs prohibit right turns at a red light, drivers may turn right at a red light but only after coming to a complete stop and making sure it is safe to proceed. Failing to do so can be perilous for pedestrians and other motorists.
Most traffic accidents occur at intersections. Drivers are advised to use extra caution when approaching intersections and to be aware of motorists who may not follow the rules described above.
Sergeant Christopher Gali, head of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, stressed that police have already logged more than 400 serious traffic collisions on the Big Island this year—and 10 of them resulted in fatalities. “Because driving seems routine, we sometimes forget that carelessness or impatience can lead to tragedy,” Gali said. “Please help keep our roads safe.”