Every night, friends and loved ones gather at a roadside memorial to remember Orlando Vallejo. Honolulu police say the 18-year-old was hit by a drunken driver on Kupuna Loop. The Vallejo family says lighting these candles and holding hands in prayer helps them cope with the tragedy.
"It's a good way to get closure," said Donna Vallejo, the victim's cousin. "I come here to remember him and it's our way of feeling close to him."
However, the city's Department of Transportation enacted a new law which says families must clear the memorials 30 days after installing them, or the city will come and clear it.
"Most of our roadways are urbanized roadways," said Wayne Yoshioka, the director of the Department of Transportation Services. "If we were to have a proliferation of these on our urban roadways it's going to start obstructing our sidewalks."
The rules are similar to the current state regulations, which state memorial sites must be as far from the travel way as possible and not obstruct any pedestrian walk ways.
In addition, the city restricts the size of the memorial and forbids any glass objects at the site.
"It can not contain glass or glittery things," said Yosioka. "We do have reflectors in the roadway for specific reasons and having glass or a shiny object can also act as a reflector and interfere with our traffic controls."
Though they understand why the city is implementing the new rules, Vallejo's loved ones say having the memorial reminds people of the dangers of driving under the influence.
"It's something that shows drunk driving what it can lead to," said Chalet Vidinaja, Vallejo's friend. "As people look to the right they can see, what happened to him and maybe they can drive slower. "