People who live on Tantalus Drive are demanding change
The shock and the outrage on Tantalus is as fresh Monday as it was Thursday, when police say a car was drift racing and slammed into an elite triathlete biking up the windy mountain road.
HONOLULU - The shock and the outrage on Tantalus Drive is as fresh Monday as it was Thursday. Police say a car was drift racing and slammed into an elite triathlete biking up the windy mountain road.
One reaction you won't find from the community association: surprise.
"My reaction to the accident is that it was an accident waiting to happen. We were both racing and what is called drift racing on the mountain for many years," Mark Bernstein, president of Tantalus Community Association said.
Drift racing is a type of racing in which cars skid around sharp corners. Vicky Liljestrand, a Tantalus resident, says she hears the screech of tires and the roar of loud engines along the 10-mile stretch all the time. Liljestrand says she has called 911 on at least 75 occasions.
"They're not doing it occasionally. They're doing it like 4, 5 times a week," Liljestrand said. "They say they don't have enough manpower. They say they have to come in a marked car and they just sit there and wait for the police to go away and they start. I say how about sending up a plain clothes police officer in an unmarked car? They haven't done it."
Honolulu police agree drift racing is a problem.
"My officers in the traffic division cite and arrest them on a weekly basis. Sometimes the same person 2 or 3 times," Lt. Boszkowitz with the Honolulu Police Department said.
Bernstein knows 24/7 patrols aren't realistic so the Tantalus Community Association decided to push forward with getting speed bumps, but that comes with roadblocks too.
Liljestrand says that having to deal speed bumps is a small price to pay to prevent another horrific accident.
"They can't worry about their inconveniences of having to slow down or what it will do to their cars. Just a bump or a hump will do it," Liljestrand said.