HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

139

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 
   


HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

REQUESTING the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the police departments of the various counties, to examine the feasibility of establishing a state highway patrol for THE purpose of enforcing statewide traffic safety.

 

 

WHEREAS, traffic safety has always been a high priority in the State; and

WHEREAS, speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents on the highways; and

WHEREAS, according to estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is estimated to be about $28,800,000,000 per year. In 1996, speeding was a contributing factor in thirty per cent of all fatal crashes, and 12,998 lives were lost in speeding-related accidents. In 1996, 624,000 people received minor injuries in speeding-related crashes. An additional 75,000 people received moderate injuries, and 41,000 received critical injuries in speeding-related accidents; and

WHEREAS, running red lights is also a major traffic problem; and

WHEREAS, data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute indicate that each year more than eight hundred people die and an estimated 200,000-plus are injured in crashes that involve red light running. More than half of the deaths are pedestrians and occupants in other vehicles who are hit by the red light runners; and

WHEREAS, running red lights and other traffic controls like stop and yield signs is the most frequent type of police-reported urban crash. During 1990 and 1991, of thirteen crash types that researchers at the Institutes identified, running traffic controls accounted for twenty-two per cent of all crashes; and

WHEREAS, the State has attempted to remedy these problems by implementing a three-year traffic enforcement demonstration project that involves a photo red light imaging system and a photo speed imaging detector system that has seriously backfired in terms of program implementation and consumer acceptance; and

WHEREAS, other jurisdictions have had long and successful histories with state highway patrols dedicated to highway safety; and

WHEREAS, a state highway patrol in Hawaii may be a feasible alternative to a traffic enforcement program that utilizes photo red light and photo speed imaging detector systems; and

WHEREAS, there may be advantages to implementing a state highway patrol, not least of which would be the freeing up of police personnel, which has chronically suffered shortages, in the counties for other essential duties; and

WHEREAS, it is in the interest of the safety and health of the public to examine alternatives to the current photo red light and photo speed imaging detection systems demonstration project; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the police departments of the various counties, is requested to examine the feasibility of establishing a state highway patrol for the purpose of enforcing statewide traffic safety; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Transportation is requested to convene an informal working group comprised of representatives of the:

(1) Department of Transportation;

(2) The police chiefs of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, and the City and County of Honolulu; and

(3) State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers;

and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Transportation is requested to submit findings and recommendations, including any necessary proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior the convening of the Regular Session of 2003; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Transportation, the Mayors and the Police Chiefs of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, and the City and County of Honolulu, and the President of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

Report Title:

State Highway Patrol; DOT Study