November 2022 on track to be deadliest month on Hawaii roads

By Alfred Acenas
Eagle News Service

HONOLULU (Eagle News) – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) recently reported eight traffic-related deaths in the first 10 days of November, bringing the total for traffic fatalities between January 1 and November 9 to 103, which is 25 more compared to November 9, 2021.

Between the 2021 and 2022 year-to-date fatalities, HDOT determined that there has been a 17-person increase in motor vehicle occupant fatalities; a six-person increase in pedestrian deaths; an increase of two fatalities involving motorcycle, moped, or scooter operators; and an increase by one for bicycle fatalities.

“The increase in traffic deaths in 2022 is alarming. Twenty-five people is roughly equivalent to the number of students in a full classroom,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “HDOT will continue to implement proven safety improvements such as raised crosswalks and no right turns on red, but we need all drivers and riders to follow the rules of the road.”

(FILE) A compact sedan is being towed away while first responders check for and clear out debris on the affected lanes before opening them back up to motorists. (Photo by Alfred Acenas, Hawaii-Pacific Bureau, Eagle News Service)

Contributing factors amongst recent deaths in November include motorcycle/scooter operators not wearing helmets, speed, and impairment.

According to HDOT’s attitude and behavioral survey, only 19% of motorcycle operators surveyed reported always stopping for emergency vehicles and only 53% reported looking for pedestrians before proceeding through a crosswalk. Motorcycle operators are also the least likely among the modes to always provide the minimum of 3-feet of space between themselves and a bicyclist at 13%.

In addition, 47% of motorcyclists surveyed reported driving through a red light in the past six months and driving while feeling buzzed while 41% admitted to driving 20 mph (32 kph) over the posted speed limit in the past six months.

Moreover, only 42% of motorcyclists surveyed wear a helmet while 32% admit to operating a motorcycle without a license.

HDOT continues to encourage motorcycle, moped, and motor scooter operators to refresh their knowledge on the safe operation of their vehicles by reviewing the Motorcycle Operator Manual here, or by signing up for the motorcycle safety course at Leeward Community College on Oahu. A video detailing what to expect from the motorcycle safety course can be viewed at

In Hawaii, helmets are required for anyone under 18 years of age to operate or ride on a motorcycle, moped, or motor scooter.

(Eagle News Service)