2018: One of the deadliest years in pedestrian safety, new safety initiatives released
A spike in pedestrian deaths in Hawaii has state officials scrambling to prevent any more fatalities.
HONOLULU - A spike in pedestrian deaths in Hawaii has state officials scrambling to prevent any more fatalities.
So far this year, 20 people died in car crashes, 14 of them were pedestrians. That number is uncomfortably close to a total of15 pedestrian deaths in all of 2017.
The Department of Transportation says nine pedestrians were killed crossing streets, but a majority of them weren't in marked crosswalks.
According to police, alcohol and drugs caused a significant number of 2018's fatal vehicle crashes.
Officials are on a mission to reduce deaths they say are completely preventable.
"Choosing to speed excessively is not an accident, shooting to drink and drive is not an accident, choosing to look at your text or email while you're driving is not an accident. Anytime we have those types of accidents, they're 100 percent avoidable," Ed Sniffen, DOT said.
The DOT is spearheading a campaign to raise awareness in the community.
To help drive the message home, the department will be posting startling statistics about traffic deaths on message boards like "20 traffic deaths this year".
The department broadcasted traffic fatality numbers on signs above the H1 freeway Friday. Something you'll see every Monday.
"We do know that when we focus on education efforts, we can help our community understand what they can do individually to make a difference in reducing fatalities," Governor David Ige said.
DOT is also asking the public to submit their own safety messages to publicize on messages boards.
This afternoon, state and city officials recited a safety pledge. Pedestrian advocates want to remind everyone both drivers and pedestrians need to remain vigilant on the roads.