Hāna Highway Regulation Aims to Promote Safety
The volunteer-based Hāna Highway Regulation is hoping to address safety issues on the Road to Hāna, including those relating to illegal parking, trespassing on private property, unlicensed commercial activity, and commercial activity within spaces that the Hāna community considers sacred.
The initiative was formed by the Hāna Community Association, whose goal is to enhance the safety and efficiency of the Road to Hāna.
Members are encouraging visitors and residents to abide by the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation signs that indicate no parking zones along the highway. Another goal of the HHR is to promote respect for wahi pana (sacred spaces) along the Road to Hāna.
Residents of the Hāna community have expressed their disapproval of visitors and commercial operators trekking guests to locations that they consider kapu (restricted).
The HHR asserts that visiting, soliciting or facilitating access to sacred sites are offenses to Hāna community policies. They also state that these actions disrupt the quality of life for residents in the area and are disrespectful to the Hawaiian culture and the lineal descendants of these places.
The group’s recently launched Registered Commercial Partners program is a verification tool they are using to distinguish lawful tour operators. When companies register in this program as a commercial partner, they then qualify for the HHRʻs Hāna Pono certification opportunity which highlights them as leaders in sustainable tourism.
This effort is the HHRʻs attempt to curb what they call “rampant unlicensed commercial activity throughout Hāna.” The application for commercial operators to begin the process can be found on the HHR website HanaHighwayRegulation.com.
The HHR collects data through roadside surveys and complies it on the offense report page on their website. They will be using this information to draft a visitor safety system for the Road to Hāna, which is their larger objective.
The HHR has also drafted a “Road to Hāna code of conduct,” which is available on the HHR website. This code of conduct provides protocols for respectful visits and responsible commercial enterprise that have been shared with visitor publications, travel agencies and activity providers.
The HHR will be converting this code of conduct into an infographic brochure and a short video for organizations in the hospitality industry to use as educational tools to better prepare visitors for the Road to Hāna. The intended outlets for these educational tools include the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, the Maui Visitors Bureau, the Department of Transportation Airports division as well as Maui resorts and rental car corporations.
The HHR said they appreciate all of the support from their neighboring regions in their effort to enhance the safety and efficiency of the Road to Hāna.