Ask the Mayor: Motorcycle Groups’ ‘Road Guards’ are Illegal

November 17, 2013, 11:42 AM HST · Updated November 24, 4:45 PM
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The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Q: Yesterday I received a letter from the Office of the County Clerk which contained a Voter Registration and Permanent Absentee form. The cover letter states that the county is updating its database of registered voters. It further states that the county is enclosing a Wikiwiki Voter Registration & Permanent Absentee Form for my use.

The problem is that nowhere does the letter state whether someone who is already registered and does not wish to be a Permanent Absentee voter needs to return the form. The statement that the county is updating its database implies that I need to return the form to stay in the database. As a registered voter whose information has not changed and who does not wish to re-register as a Permanent Absentee, I do not want to be dropped from the rolls. Is it required that I return the form, even if none of my information has changed?

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A: The update of the voter registration database is being conducted to gather any changes to names, addresses and contact information, and to encourage voters to receive ballots by mail as a “permanent absentee” voter. Individuals already registered to vote will NOT be dropped from the rolls if the form is not returned; it is simply a way to gather updated information. Any questions regarding the voter registration, permanent absentee ballot, or other elections-related questions may be directed to the County Clerk’s Office at ph. 270-7749. Online information from the State Elections Office is available at hawaii.gov/elections.

Motorcycle club passing through Lahaina. Photo courtesy of Motorcycle Maui Facebook page.

Motorcycle club passing through Lahaina. Photo courtesy of the Motorcycle Maui Facebook page. (Note: use of this photo is in no way intended to implicate any motorcycle group in particular.)

Q: I live in a neighborhood in Kihei where many cars are parked on the sidewalks at night. On most weekends, during the day there are oversized pickup trucks parked in a particular driveway, and the front of the truck blocks the sidewalk. Kids, strollers and even wheelchairs must go out into the street to navigate – and forget about using the sidewalk at night. Isn’t there a law about street parking at night? Can something be done to reclaim our sidewalks for pedestrians, instead of them being used for parking? Thank you.

A: The Maui County Code includes parking restrictions that list places where one cannot park their vehicle, including a sidewalk. According to Chapter 10.48.030 A1, “no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the law or the direction of a police officer or traffic control device, in any of the following places:

1. Sidewalk; 2. Within four feet of either side of a public or private driveway.” With regard to overnight parking (Chapter 10.48.110), no person shall park a vehicle on any roadway for a period longer than 20 minutes between 2 – 6 a.m. MPD says that for the most part, these offenses are complaint-driven and one would have to call the police non-emergency number (244-6400) to lodge a complaint. An officer would respond to the scene and note the vehicle’s position via the odometer or by marking the tires. The officer would then return 20 minutes later to determine if the vehicle was in fact moved. If no movement is detected, the vehicle would receive a parking citation.

Q: Is it legal for motorcycle groups to employ the use of road guards at intersections and cross streets, thereby stopping motor vehicles until the group passes?

A: The Maui Police Department does not allow this action for any motorcycle group, car group or individuals. As with the question regarding parking on a sidewalk Maui County Traffic Code, Chapter 10.48.030, states that “no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle… in any of the following places: 3. Within an intersection.” Thus, the use of self-appointed “road guards” at intersections or cross streets is not permissible to allow a group of motorcycles or vehicles to pass. No citizens shall obstruct or block traffic to alter the normal flow for their own personal use.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

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