Honolulu- On May 20, 2013, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill (SB) 4, relating to Motor Vehicles, into law. This measure 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 on any public highway.
Senator Clayton Hee, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor, issued this statement in response to the enactment of SB 4:
The data regarding seat belt use is irrefutable,” said Senator Hee, who was the introducer of the bill. “Seventy-five percent of back seat passengers suffer serious injury of death when they are not properly buckled up. People’s lives will be saved by this new law and, at the end of the day, that is really what counts!”
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, seat belt restraints increases the safety of all motor vehicle occupants by as much as forty-five percent. By requiring all front seat and back seat occupants to buckle up, this bill seeks to protect the safety of Hawaii’s motor vehicle drivers and passengers.
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.
Honolulu- Today Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted House Bill (HB) 2030, Relating to the Statewide Traffic Code, as Act 318. Commonly referred to as the “Move Over” bill, this measure requires motorists to move over and slow down their vehicles when passing a stationary emergency vehicle on a highway.
Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs J. Kalani English issued this statement in response to the enactment of HB 2030:
Traffic accident fatalities involving officials responding to emergency situations are tragic and can be prevented with certain traffic safety precautions,” said Senator English. “The enactment of House Bill 2030 will help ensure the safety of our emergency respondents by providing greater clarity to Hawaii’s existing traffic laws.”
Molokai- A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday, June 15, 2012, for the Kawela Stream Bridge Replacement Project on Molokai. The $6 million project will replace the existing bridge, originally constructed in 1940, with a wider bridge that meets current seismic and vehicular loading standards. Senator J. Kalani English (District 6- Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe) said the replacement of the bridge is long-awaited.
I am pleased that the replacement of the Kawela Stream Bridge is underway,” said Senator English. “By meeting current standards and requirements, this project will help ensure that the public safety needs of Molokai residents are met.”
Located on the Kamehameha V Highway, the Kawela Stream Bridge has faced multiple flooding incidents caused by heavy rains over the past two decades. Previous such incidents have resulted in the seclusion of eastside residents from the rest of the island.
“With the modernization of the bridge, residents will be able to continue on with their lives without interruption,” said Senator English. “The finalization of this project will bring much relief for many of our residents.”
The new bridge will be 21 feet longer and 19 feet wider than the current bridge and will include a shoulder for pedestrians and bicyclists. It will also be two feet higher, providing additional capacity for drainage flow for the Kawela Stream beneath.
The total cost of the replacement and construction of the Kawela Stream Bridge is $11,011,000 with $8,856,800 from Federal funds. Construction is anticipated to be complete in December 2013.
Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs Chair J. Kalani English discusses House Bill (HB) 2030, widely known as the Emergency Vehicle “Move Over” Bill.
HB 2030, which passed out of Conference Committee on April 25, 2012, would amend the existing Chapter 291C of the Hawaii Revised Statues, to provide greater clarity of language. Specifically, the bill would require motorists to move over and slow down their vehicles when passing a stationary emergency vehicle on a highway.
If this measure becomes law, a violation against it will result in a civil fine, which will not impact the driver’s car insurance rates.
Hanawana, Maui – The Hanawana Land Bridge, which was damaged during heavy rains in March, is now fixed. Senator J. Kalani English, who represents District 6, encompassing the areas of Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, and Kaho‘olawe, said work to repair the bridge was completed today.
I am pleased that the repairs have been completed,” said Senator English. “I commend everyone involved in making sure this project was expedited quickly.”
The Hanawana Land Bridge was built about 100 years ago off Hana Highway. Part of it collapsed into a river during the severe weather in March. Roughly 40 residents in the rural area have been struggling with trying to get to other parts of the island, as the bridge serves as a lifeline for people who live there.
With the bridge being fixed, residents can now continue on with their lives without interruption,” said Sen. English. “This brings much relief for many of the residents.”
The Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs is looking at ways to improve highway and road design for all of Hawaii users, which include drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike in order to ease traffic problems. The Inrix Traffic Scoreboard last year ranked Honolulu second behind Los Angeles in worst traffic congestion among top 100 cities in the United States. The U.S. General Accounting Office predicts that road congestion in the U.S. will triple in 15 years. Traffic is growing about five times faster than the growth in population.
There needs to be a paradigm shift in our attitudes about road usage and solving our traffic problems,” said Senator J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International affairs. “We need to plan communities for all road users and not just for cars.”
Don Burden, executive director for Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, presented some solutions to traffic problems and how to better plan communities to the Committee on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Walkable and Livable Communities Institute is an educational, non-profit organization working to create walkable streets, livable cities and better built environments.
Referencing the Complete Streets Law, Act 054 (2009), Burden said roads need to be improved for the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, children, older citizens, non-drivers and the mobility challenged, as well as those that cannot afford a car or choose to live car free.
We’re looking for a way to build for people so that we don’t have to drive that far,” said Burden. “We need to plan so that we can include walkable and livable communities.”
“Improving road and highway designs will not only decrease traffic congestion, but increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists,” said English. “It will improve the quality of life for all.”
HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Senate today passed Senate Bill 2960, relating to aeronautics. The bill would suspend landing fees for air carriers that provide interisland service to rural airports, which include Kapalua, Hana, Kalaupapa, Lanai, Molokai and Waimea-Kohala airports.
This measure encourages commercial air carriers to continue service to the remote parts of our State,” said Senator J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs. “In effect, I hope it increase reliability and stabilize air fares,”
According to a Department of Transportation report, flight activity at Kalaupapa, Kapalua, Hana, Waimea-Kohala and Lanai has steadily declined over the last five years. The decrease in service was more pronounced at the airports served by smaller aircraft exclusively. For example, Hana airport saw nine-hundred flights last year, a decrease of 21-hundred flights from 2006. Those nine-hundred flights last year were non-commercial or private air carriers. Meanwhile, Waimea-Kohala airport saw seven-hundred flights last year, compared to 2-thousand flights 2006.
The bill is headed to the House for consideration.
The flight service to the rural airports serves as a lifeline to other parts of the State for residents living in those areas, especially for those needing vital medical attention,” added Senator English, who represents Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i and Kaho’olawe.
Sen. J. Kalani English, along with Mark Dunkerly, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines and Governor Neil Abercrombie
HONOLULU– Senate Committee on Transportation Chair J. Kalani English applauds Hawaiian Airlines for earning the first-ever aviation based carbon credits. Hawaiian reduced its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 22,000 metric tons over the past six years using an innovative, eco-friendly engine washing technology developed by Pratt & Whitney.
“I congratulate Hawaiian Airlines for being a leader in the aviation industry through this significant achievement in being environmentally friendly,” said Senator J. Kalani English. “Hawaiian has demonstrated great efforts in being progressive in its green initiatives.”
A carbon credit is a verified means of measuring the reduction of industrial CO2 emissions from the environment, with one credit equal to the removal of one ton of CO2. Hawaiian’s earning of carbon credits has been quantified and certified under the Verified Carbon Standard, the world’s leading independent standard for the measurement and verification of greenhouse gas emissions and the creation of carbon credits.
The engine washing technology has saved the company more than 2.5 million gallons of fuel, along with an estimated 26,000 gallons of water that would have been used with traditional washing methods. Hawaiian’s engine washing program is part of a broader continuous effort to mitigate high fuel costs and their impact on its customers.
Hawaiian implements green initiatives, including recycling of waste materials and use of renewable and biodegradable resources in onboard meal packaging and utensil.
“Future generations will definitely benefit from what Hawaiian Airlines is doing today to be earth-friendly.”
Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs Chair J. Kalani English discusses Senate Bill 61, which relates to the Statewide Traffic Code.
Senate Bill 61, which was heard by the committee on January 30, 2012, would amend the existing Chapter 291C of the Hawaii Revised Statues, to provide greater clarity of language. Specifically, the bill would require motorists to move over and slow down their vehicles when passing a stationary emergency vehicle on a highway.
Several areas of improvement reviewed by the Committee include issues of double jeopardy and language. During the hearing, the committee members made amendments to the bill and advanced it to the next committee. The bill will now go to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor.
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