Police Department Urges Roadway Awareness
The Maui Police Department is reminding the public to practice roadway safety. According to the department, both drivers and pedestrians need to stay alert and avoid distractions while traveling on roadways.
Every hour and a half, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic collision in the US, according to MPD. In 2016, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in a collision, a 9% rise from 2015, and the highest number of deaths since 1990. There were five pedestrian traffic fatalities in Maui County within the first three months of this year. According to MPD, most of these deaths could have been prevented.
Below is a list of reminders the MPD provided for both drivers and pedestrians:
- Always look out for pedestrians. They may not be walking where they should be or may be hard to see, especially at night, in poorly lit conditions, during dusk or dawn, and in bad weather.
- Follow pedestrian safety laws; always stop or yield for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They may be stopped for pedestrians crossing the street.
- Slow down and look for pedestrians. Be prepared to stop when turning left or right or when entering a crosswalk.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Follow the posted speed limit; slow down when around pedestrians.
- Stay focused and slow down in areas with children, such as school zones and neighborhoods.
- Walk on a sidewalk or path when it is available.
- If no sidewalk or path is available, walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
- Stay alert; do not be distracted by electronic devices, including smart phones, music players, and other devices that would take your eyes and ears away from the road.
- Be cautious during both the night and day when sharing the road with vehicles, even if you have the right of way.
- Never assume a driver sees you; he or she could be distracted. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach or watch for them slowing down. When in doubt, wait until traffic passes.
- Be predictable. Cross streets at a crosswalk or intersection when possible.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that will allow you enough time to cross safely and continue to watch for traffic. Pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles while crossing the roadway outside a crosswalk.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothes during the day and reflective material, especially on arms, legs and feet, or use a flashlight at night.
- Avoid walking around traffic after drinking alcohol or using drugs, as they impair your judgement and coordination. Plan for friends to help you get home safely.
- Pedestrians should look and listen while crossing, even if they have the right of way. Always keep an eye and ear out for hazards such as cars, motorcycles, or bicycles.