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Tuesday, September 23, 2014         

KOKUA LINE


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Multiple entities involved can delay crash scene cleanup

By June Watanabe

POSTED:



Question: There was an auto accident the week of May 30 in Makakilo. The damaged vehicles were removed by a towing company. The damaged stoplight was moved to the median, along with the front bumper of one vehicle. Broken glass and smaller vehicle parts were swept to the median curb. Four days later a city vehicle picked up the stoplight. Six days later all the rubbish is still on the median, including the bumper. Who’s responsible for cleaning up after an accident?

Answer: A crew from the Department of Facility Maintenance’s Road Division was dispatched June 6 to remove the debris, after we asked about the left-behind debris.

City administration spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy said cleanup of accident scenes can involve several agencies/companies.

The city has towing service contracts, assigned by districts, for the removal of vehicles involved in traffic accidents, she said. The contracts require the companies to also remove debris, such as glass and vehicle parts, from the roadway.

In general, police will sweep up flares, flare debris or, if the vehicles are not towed, any glass or small debris to avoid posing a risk to other vehicles, Kim McCoy said. If necessary, police also may notify the Road Division to pick up the debris.

Meanwhile, the Honolulu Fire Department is called if there is oil, gas or any hazardous material to be cleaned up; Hawaiian Electric Co. is notified if electrical lines are involved; and Hawaiian Telcom, telephone lines.

UPDATE ON PHILIPPINES SHIPMENTS

The state Office of Consumer Protection has good news about boxes shipped to the Philippines in two containers that have been stranded for months in the Philippine Bureau of Customs (see is.gd/kokualine060711).

Millennium Express & Travel has made payments to clear out the boxes from the containers, move them into its bonded warehouse, then deliver them, said Jeffrey Brunton, temporary acting executive director of OCP.

For now, people who paid to ship the boxes via the now-defunct companies PB Direct Express and Philbox Express will have to make a second payment, he said. However, OCP plans to make a formal claim with the bonding company — once the boxes are delivered — to get those added payments eventually reimbursed.

“Theoretically, at the end of the process … people will have gotten their boxes (delivered) at the price they paid for, and it will sort of be late delivery,” Brunton said.

The process is expected to take about another month.

For now, Millennium Express is still trying to nail down shipping records.

The problem, an official said, is that only about one-fourth of the boxes in the second container have been identified. He asks people who may have shipped them, or who want more information, to call Millennium at 699-4329.

MAHALO

To police officer Alan Ahn. On May 15 I was struggling to find my way driving around Chinatown when I was stopped by Officer Ahn. He repeatedly explained what I had done wrong to make sure I understood the seriousness, but was very kind. He asked where I was going, and I told him to the 80th-birthday party of a friend at a restaurant. He told me how to get there. But when I tried to start my car, it wouldn’t start. Officer Ahn tried to start my car, then called his sergeant, who had a cable. Voilà! It started, and I followed officer Ahn to my destination. A very stressful situation for an old lady, made less so by a nice officer.

— Anneliese Chun

Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.






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