Report Title:

Traffic Safety; Pedestrian Crosswalks



Establishes a pilot project to test crosswalk safety enhancements and programs in the city and county of Honolulu.



S.B. NO.














relating to traffic safety.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that there is an ongoing trend of unacceptably high pedestrian fatalities in the State, especially in its urban areas.  Between 2001 and 2006, one hundred eighty-one pedestrians died across the State, an average of over thirty per year.  Although pedestrian fatalities dropped to twenty-nine in 2006 from thirty-six in 2005, Hawaii still ranked eleventh nationally in pedestrian deaths and first in deaths among pedestrians age sixty-five or older.

The legislature also finds that every day on average, one or two people get hit by a car as they are walking on a street somewhere on Oahu.  Most of the accidents occur in a six-mile long area between Kapahulu and Kalihi.  Annually, two-thirds of the statewide pedestrian fatalities occur on Oahu, most commonly in business areas where drivers, pedestrians, and buses converge to create a dangerous mix of people and vehicles on the move.

     The legislature also finds that measures have been taken in recent years to address pedestrian injuries and deaths.  In 2004, the department of transportation launched its "walk wise Hawaii" program, initially focusing on senior citizens.  It was later expanded to cover all pedestrians statewide and offers a set of "steps to safety", written in ten different languages, for pedestrians to follow.  The legislature in 2005 strengthened the law regarding pedestrians' right-of-way in crosswalks requiring drivers to stop whenever a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.  County police departments have also stepped up their education and enforcement efforts, issuing large number of citations to both drivers and pedestrians. 

The legislature further finds that pedestrian safety programs comprise one per cent or less of the federal highway funds spent in Hawaii.  The overwhelming majority of funds is spent on improvements such as road widening and other efforts to remove obstacles to more rapid traffic flow.  Clearly, more needs to be done because the pedestrian death rate has remained virtually unchanged for ten years.

     The purpose of this Act is to decrease the pedestrian death rate statewide by testing new pedestrian crosswalk safety enhancements and programs in high-risk areas on Oahu.

     SECTION 2.  There is established in the city and county of Honolulu a two-year pilot project to test crosswalk safety enhancements and programs. 

(a)  The project shall test and evaluate enhancements and programs including, but not limited to:

     (1)  Physical improvements such as:

(A)  Raised bumps or buttons to reduce speed and warn of upcoming crosswalks;

(B)  Reflective raised crosswalk markings on the edge of crosswalks closest to oncoming traffic;

(C)  Pedestrian activated warning systems including flashing lights embedded in the pavement, strung overhead, or mounted on poles at the ends of crosswalks and fixed lighting of the crosswalk from above or from poles at the ends of crosswalks; and

(D)  Improved signage;

     (2)  Public outreach and education programs; and

     (3)  Enforcement programs by police and prosecutors.

     (b)  Criteria to be used in evaluating enhancements and programs shall include, but not be limited to:

     (1)  Reduction in pedestrian injuries and fatalities;

(2)  Speed and cost of implementing an enhancement, including whether it can be implemented with minimal trenching, wiring, or use of an external power source; and

(3)  Speed with which results are observed and whether the results endure over time.

     (c)  The enhancements and programs shall be tested in communities including, but not limited to:

(1)  Waikiki, particularly along Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues;

(2)  Downtown Honolulu, on King, Beretania, and Bishop streets;

(3)  Kalihi, Palama and Liliha, including School street and Nuuanu avenue;

(4)  Aiea and Waipahu, along Farrington highway and Moanalua road; and

(5)  Farrington highway through the Leeward coast.

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $       , or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007-2008, and the same sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009, for purposes of the crosswalk safety enhancements and programs pilot project.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the city and county of Honolulu for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  The city and county of Honolulu shall report to the legislature not later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2008 and 2009 on the progress of the project, including any recommendations regarding  legislation, safety and enhancement programs that should be extended or made permanent, and amounts and means of funding.

     SECTION 5.  The city and county of Honolulu shall seek federal grants or other funds for purposes of the crosswalk safety enhancements and programs pilot project.

     SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2007, and shall be repealed on June 30, 2009.