Maui Motorists Urged to Slow Down, Drive Safely, No Phones
By Wendy Osher
The county administration today joined the Maui Police Department in urging motorists on Maui to slow down, drive safe and sober, and put away cell phones, as part of a “drive smart” advisory.
The announcement was made by county Managing Director Keith Regan who is serving as acting mayor while Mayor Alan Arakawa is traveling out of state.
The initial “drive smart” advisory was issued by Maui police on Monday following a rash of fatal incidents that at the time totaled four fatalities in eight days.
The reminder comes following a hit-and-run traffic fatality on the Piʻilani Highway Tuesday that claimed the life of a 51-year-old Kīhei woman who was stuck by a pickup truck while walking on the highway.
The incident was the ninth traffic fatality on Maui County roads this year, and the sixth traffic fatality on Maui roadways over an 11-day period.
“These traffic fatalities are tragic examples of the need for heightened enforcement against distracted driving,” Regan said in a county press release. “Our administration appreciates and fully supports the Maui Police Department’s efforts to remind the public of the importance of safe driving by enforcing the law.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear of the lives lost and the family members whose lives are forever changed in an instant. People shouldn’t think, ‘That will never happen to me.’ We really need to consider the possible consequences before getting into, and while driving, our vehicles,” he said.
Investigators with the Maui Police Department Vehicle Homicide continue to look for a 2012-2014 bronze- or khaki-colored Toyota Tacoma with fresh damage to the front passenger side grill, fender and headlight area.
Anyone with information on the vehicle or the driver is urged to call the Maui Police Department Vehicle Homicide Unit at (808) 244-6347 or Police Dispatch at (808) 244-6400.
Earlier this week, Maui police Traffic Section commander, Lieutenant Ricky C. Uedoi released data noting that so far this year Maui police issued 215 citations for distracted driving and arrested 234 drivers for operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. Lieutenant Uedoi said police also issued 790 speeding citations, 414 cell phone citations, and 827 seat belt citations so far this year.
“People need to be reminded to drive safe, use a designated driver when drinking and most of all drive responsibly,” said Uedoi in a press release earlier this week.