The increase in pedestrian deaths in Hawaii prompted Governor David Ige to sign a new law that lawmakers hope will prevent some of these deaths in the future, particularly at intersections. Most of us have seen intersection crosswalks with countdown timers that show walkers how much time they have to get across the street.
However, not all states use these timers in the same way. In many states, walkers have the freedom to decide when to begin their crossing journey as long as they make it to the other side by the time the timer hits zero. But, some Hawaii lawmakers believe that this encourages pedestrians to engage in risky behaviors, such as attempting to run across the street with little to no time left on the countdown timer.
A new law here attempts to limit these risky street crossings. Under the new law, police can issue a pedestrian a $130 ticket for starting to cross the street after the countdown timer begins. Though, if a walker is already in the intersection when the timer starts, they may continue walking.
Experts say that traffic engineers could consider reducing the amount of time pedestrians have to wait for a signal or adjust the amount of time pedestrians have to cross the street. Experts also say that conditions should be improved away from intersections, as many accidents occur at mid-block crossings.
Many Hawaii car accidents involving pedestrians are caused by driver and pedestrian negligence. Drivers are often at fault for failing to keep a proper lookout, driving while distracted or failing to yield the right-of-way. Pedestrians can also be at fault for crossing outside of the crosswalk or crossing without the right-of-way. If one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, they may be entitled to compensation, even if the accident was partially their fault. A personal injury attorney in the area can help recover these damages.