Governor Signs Traffic Safety Measures

Honolulu- Today Governor Neil Abercrombie signed two traffic safety measures, Senate Bill (SB) 4 and House Bill (HB) 980, into law.

SB 4 requires all front and back seat passengers to be restrained by a seat belt assembly or child passenger restraint while the motor vehicle is being operated upon any public highway. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, seat belt restraints for all occupants increases the safety of all motor vehicle occupants by as much as forty-five percent. Through requiring all front seat and back seat occupants to buckle up, this measure seeks to protect the safety of Hawaii’s motor vehicle drivers and passengers.

“Seat belts save lives,” said Senator J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs. “The enactment of this measure reinforces what many of us already know, that the importance of seat belt use can’t be ignored. By taking a few moments to buckle up, we can each play a vital role in preventing an unnecessary tragedy.”

Distracted driving is a serious problem with growing national concern. Using cellular phones or other mobile electronic devices while driving creates preventable distractions that pose a risk of harm not just to the driver, but to others in the vehicle or on the road. HB 980 establishes a statewide law prohibiting the use of any mobile electronic device while driving.

“Studies show that mobile phone use while driving can have lethal effects,” said Senator English. “By providing consistent statewide requirements for the use of mobile electronic devices while driving, we are telling drivers that using a mobile device while driving is dangerous and unacceptable. I encourage Hawaii drivers to drive responsibly; the safety of everyone who uses our roads depends on it.”

Today’s bill signings kicked off Hawaii’s Click It or Ticket’ Mobilization enforcement campaign.