Report Title:

Pedestrian Safety

 

Description:

Amends traffic code to increase pedestrian safety. (SD2)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2487

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to the traffic code.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. An average of two pedestrians have died or been injured in Hawaii each day for the past fourteen years as a result of motor vehicle collisions. From 1986 through 1999 there were a total of three hundred forty-five pedestrian fatalities and nine thousand, four hundred sixty-four pedestrian injuries.

Eighty-six per cent of the fatalities have occurred while the pedestrian was crossing a street. Thirty-five per cent of those were hit while in a crosswalk.

Hawaii's drivers are in a hurry because of our fast moving society and are failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians. In a recent survey conducted by the department of transportation, ninety-five per cent of pedestrians indicated that they felt that drivers should stop for them while they were in a crosswalk. On the other hand, ninety-five per cent of drivers surveyed felt that pedestrians should wait until there were no cars approaching before entering a crosswalk.

Jaywalking is another major contributor to pedestrian fatalities. Eighty-eight per cent of those polled feel that jaywalking is dangerous, and sixty per cent feel that there should be a state law against jaywalking.

Eighty-seven per cent of the drivers polled said that they stop for pedestrians in crosswalks fifty-nine per cent of the time. Thirty-one per cent of the pedestrians said they had either been hit or nearly hit by a driver while trying to cross the street.

Everyone is a pedestrian at some point of each day, walking from home to a mode of transportation, then to the office or school, or while shopping, banking, or going for a walk. It is one of the friendliest modes of transportation that enhances both personal and social well being.

The legislature finds that the number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries is unacceptable and that additional laws governing both pedestrians and drivers are needed to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities occurring on our streets.

SECTION 2. Chapter 291C, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part VII to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"291C- Penalties. Any person who violates any section of this part shall:

(1) Be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than one day for the first conviction thereof;

(2) Be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned not more than two days or both for conviction of a second offense committed within one year after the date of the first offense; and

(3) Be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than three days or both for conviction of a third or subsequent offense committed within one year after the date of the first offense."

SECTION 3. Section 291C-72, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]291C-72[]] Pedestrians' right of way in crosswalks. (a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall [yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to] stop for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk or intersection when [the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.]:

(1) The pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling; or

(2) The pedestrian is upon half of the roadway and is approaching the other half of the roadway upon which a vehicle is approaching so closely as to endanger the pedestrian.

(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is [impossible] impracticable for the driver of the vehicle to [yield.] stop.

(c) [Subsection (a) shall not apply under the conditions stated in section 291C-73(b).] Whenever traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk or intersection should:

(1) Look for a break in the traffic that will permit vehicles time to stop safely and permit crossing by the pedestrian;

(2) Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of the approaching vehicle; and

(3) When crossing a multi-lane roadway, stop prior to entering each lane of travel to ensure that other drivers are aware or the lane is clear before entering.

(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear or adjacent, shall not overtake and pass [such stopped vehicle.] and shall not allow the front of the driver's vehicle to pass beyond the front of the other stopped vehicle."

SECTION 4. Section 291C-73, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]291C-73[]] Crossing at other than crosswalks. (a) [Every] No pedestrian [crossing] shall cross a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk [or], within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection [shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.], or within two hundred feet of an intersection or marked crosswalk in residential areas.

(b) [Any] No pedestrian [crossing] shall cross a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided [shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway].

(c) [Between] No pedestrian shall cross between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation [pedestrians shall not cross at any place] except in a marked crosswalk.

(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements."

SECTION 5. Section 291C-75, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

["[291C-75] Pedestrians to use right half of crosswalks. Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks."]

SECTION 6. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.