The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) and its federal, state, city and community partners kicked off the 12th annual statewide Pedestrian Safety Month this August with a sign waving at the State Capitol Monday, Aug. 2. Pedestrian Safety Month is organized by HDOT’s Walk Wise Hawai'i program and features daily public and private pedestrian safety events to share good pedestrian practices and good driving practices when around pedestrians.
“As thousands of residents and visitors return to our roadways, drivers must renew their commitment to looking out for our keiki, kupuna, and all pedestrians,” said Jade Butay, Hawai'i State Department of Transportation Director.
Although the primary cause for pedestrian crashes is inattentive behavior by both drivers and pedestrians, we urge drivers to put down their cell phones, follow speed limits and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections.”
Walk Wise Hawai'i (WWH) focuses throughout the year on pedestrian safety education for seniors and elementary to college age students through “Seven Steps to Safety” presentations.
Pedestrians are taught to be aware that, statistically, their major dangers include not paying attention in crosswalks, jaywalking, and not being visible when walking at night.
WWH’s sister program, Drive Wise Hawai'i, focuses on driver awareness of pedestrians by sharing seven tips for drivers to be more vigilant when behind the wheel regarding pedestrian safety. Information of both programs can be found at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/safe-communites/walkwisehawaii/
To kick off the campaign’s Drive Wise Hawai'i message, WWH is sharing a video called “Look at Me Now” by local radio personality Krystilez and the members of The Angry Locals. Krystilez was born and raised in Nanakuli and knows many of the victims of pedestrian crashes in his community. The music video helps to reinforce the message to kama‘āina that speeding needs to stop and pedestrian safety is of the utmost importance. The entire video was shot along the Farrington Highway corridor where HDOT installed two raised pedestrian crossings at the T-intersection before Piliokahi Avenue and at the highway’s intersection with Laumania Avenue. The installation of the raised crosswalks provides drivers a physical reminder to reduce their speed as they enter a residential area and improves visibility of pedestrians in the raised crosswalks.
In addition to social media outreach, WWH will offer free pedestrian clip-on lights and reflective safety bands in partnership with the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation at public events throughout Pedestrian Safety Month. The Walk Wise Hawai'i “Seven Steps to Safety” brochure and the “Drive Wise Hawai'i” brochure with safety tips for drivers regarding pedestrian movement will also be available at all community events across the state. The brochures and calendar are on the website at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/safe-communites/walkwisehawaii/
Pedestrian Safety Month public partners include the Federal Highway
Administration – Hawaii Division, the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services; all County police departments; the Honolulu Police Department’s Community Policing Teams; and Neighborhood Security Watch Teams; and Safe Routes to School.
For more information on Walk Wise Hawai'i and a list of Pedestrian Safety Month events, call (808) 587-2160 or visit https://www.facebook.com/WalkWiseHawaii/
About Walk Wise Hawaii
Walk Wise Hawaii is HDOT’s public education program focusing on pedestrian safety and driver awareness of pedestrians. It is funded by grants from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Walk Wise Hawai'i has employed extensive outreach methods including partnerships with public and private entities since its inception in 2003.