Maui Police Launch Distracted Driving Enforcement

March 27, 2019, 9:34 AM HST · Updated March 27, 9:36 AM
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Maui police are joining law enforcement agencies nationwide during the “Connect to Disconnect (C2D)” high-visibility enforcement campaign against distracted driving.

The effort combines increased enforcement of distracted driving laws with advertising and media outreach.

Those who violate Hawaiʻi’s Mobile Electronic Device law are subject to a fine of $297; or $347 if in a school or construction zone. Mobile Electronic Devices include, but are not limited to: cellphones, tablet computers, digital cameras and gaming devices.

The Maui Police Department urges all drivers to remember to use a hands free device, pull over or just wait until they reach their destination before using any Mobile Electronic Device. “Our primary goal during the operation is to make the roadways of Maui County safe for the entire public to use by reducing the number of motor vehicle collisions caused by distracted driving,” police said in a press release announcement.

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In 2016, NHTSA estimated 3,450 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.

During the daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cellphones while driving, police said. “That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on US roads,” police said, noting that teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

“Texting is the most dangerous distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed,” police said.

“You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. Anytime someone takes their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind of the task of driving, they risk causing an accident. No one has the right to put another person’s life at risk,” police said in the release.

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