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KOKUA LINE


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Customized golf carts not street legal for public roads

For Tuesday, July 12, 2011

By June Watanabe

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:25 a.m. HST, Jul 12, 2011



QUESTION: Here in Waialua I am seeing more customized golf carts, all-terrain vehicles and other smaller vehicles traveling on the roads. Are they legal? I would like to have one to get around this small community instead of driving my car or truck.

Answer: Those types of vehicles are not supposed to be used on public roads, because they cannot legally be registered and issued a license plate, said an official with the state Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle and Safety Office.

To register a motor vehicle, there must be a certification label placed on it by its manufacturer, indicating that it complies with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards as of the date of manufacture, he explained.

Additionally, the label must have a 17-character vehicle identification number on it.

“Golf carts and ATVs are manufactured for off-road use,” the DOT official said. “Therefore, if you have one being driven on a public road, it is illegal.”

Because there is no one specific category for driving a vehicle illegally on the roadway, drivers caught doing so are cited for various violations, such as not having motor vehicle insurance, registration or safety inspection sticker, said Michelle Yu, Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman.

HPD has received complaints about ATVs and golf carts being driven on Waialua roads, she said, and “we have warned and cited operators.” An officer has to witness the vehicle actually being driven on the roadway in order to issue a citation.

No statistics are available on how many such citations have been issued, Yu said, because they would be lumped in with all other motor vehicles cited.

She noted that HPD has ATVs that are used on Waikiki and North Shore beaches. They are transported to the beach areas by trailer and “only go on the road for nearby emergencies.” Yu said the operators would be in HPD uniform and wearing helmets.

Question: When is the roof of the bus stop shelter on Kamehameha Highway, in front of Anna Miller’s in Pearlridge, going to be put back? I saw them take off the roof, but they never put it back. A lot of people use that bus stop.

Answer: The roof won’t be replaced.

Instead, the city Department of Transportation Services is looking to put in a new shelter within six months.

The shelter in question had become unstable, and the roof was removed to reduce the danger to people waiting at the bus stop, explained DTS Director Wayne Yoshioka.

The department’s Public Transit Division’s Facilities and Equipment Branch then looked at ways to repair the topless shelter. But recently received estimates to make repairs were very high, Yoshioka said, so the decision was made to demolish the existing structure and replace it with a “spare” shelter or possibly even two shelters.

“This is a heavily used bus stop, so we’re also seeing if we have room to relocate a second shelter to this location as well,” he said. “Because we are replacing the existing bus shelter with other existing shelters, it should cost us about $10,000.”

MAHALO

To Keli and Bruddah, for their unselfish kokua when my old 1969 muscle car stalled in the middle of Paki Avenue near the Honolulu Zoo on Saturday, July 2. It happened late that afternoon, when a line of cars was leaving Kapiolani Park.

They helped my wife and me by directing traffic, then physically pushing my car off the street and out of harm’s way while everyone else was just carelessly swerving around my car.

I will definitely reciprocate this aloha spirit when I see someone in need of help.

Kyle

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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