Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 |
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Buckle up, Kaua’i. The worst in traffic safety is yet to come.
Like most of
Hawai’i, the number of traffic accidents on this island had been on somewhat of
a downward trend in recent years. But last year on Kaua’i, the number of people
killed (eight) in traffic mishaps more than doubled over the three in 1998. A
relatively small increase in total accidents also was recorded: 1,490 in ’99,
compared to 1,417 in ’98.
The crashes included those in which no one was
injured and the damage to the vehicles amounted to $3,000 or less. Minor
accidents, in other words. Except they probably didn’t seem minor to the people
who dealt with the consequences, even if the impact was only a day or a week
ruined by a munched fender.
It’s a sure bet that deaths, injuries and
mangled automobiles will become more prevalent on Kaua’i, for the simple fact
that traffic will continually get heavier as the population goes up and takes
the number of vehicles with it.
Police, whose job it is to help make the
roads as hazard-free as possible by encouraging safe driving, have the usual
advice: Wear seat belts. Drive defensively. Pay attention to the road and keep
tempers in check when traffic is slow or other drivers do something dumb or
Kaua’i Police also are taking proactive steps, such as
islandwide checkpoints for drunk driving and non-seat belt use.
that helps. But ultimately, traffic safety is the responsibility of the
motorists themselves. They alone can decide how safely they’ll drive. Let’s
hope everyone makes the right decisions.
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