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Kokua Line

Driving too slowly can be a hazard that earns a ticket

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QUESTION: Does the Honolulu Police Department ever ticket a driver for going too slowly? I live in Mililani, and I estimate about once every eight or 10 times I get on the freeway, I am behind a driver entering the H-2 freeway at 30-35 mph. The rest of the cars are traveling between 50-60 mph. There is great danger when merging at half that speed. The icing on the cake is the stink eye I get from these dangerous drivers when I try to get around them to keep me and my family safe.

ANSWER: HPD does ticket slow drivers, although it’s obviously not as big a problem as speeders.

In 2009, officers cited 31 people for going under the posted speed limit, and 21 in 2008, said Sgt. Danton Nakama, of the Traffic Division.

The pertinent section of the law is Section 291C-102(a)(2) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, "Noncompliance with speed limit prohibited," which says it is a violation to drive "at a speed less than the minimum speed limit."

Driving below the posted speed limit could pose a traffic hazard, albeit not as great as a driver who is speeding, Nakama said.

"An officer could pull over a driver for going below the speed limit, especially at night, as this is a possible sign of impairment," he said.

A notable case was the arrest of former state Sen. Ron Menor in 2008. He was stopped on the H-1 freeway for driving too slowly, then arrested after he refused to take field sobriety tests.

He subsequently pleaded no contest to DUI charges, although he claimed he was having problems with his contact lens and had a fractured foot. He was sentenced to two days in jail.

"If someone thinks that a slow-moving vehicle is posing a traffic hazard, he should call 911 and provide the location, direction of travel, vehicle and driver description, and license plate if possible," Nakama said.

See a previous Kokua Line column about slow drivers.

QUESTION: Isn’t it illegal to blow leaves and rubbish down the storm drains on the streets? Who do we call to report these incidents?

ANSWER: You can report the illegal dumping of trash, leaves or any pollutant into the city’s storm drains or call the city’s Environmental Concern Line, 768-3000.

Section 14.12.23(a) of the Revised Ordinance of Honolulu makes it against the law to discharge any pollutant into storm drains, which is separate from the sewage system and leads directly into state waters.

Pollutants are defined as any waste, cooking or fuel oils, pesticides, paints, solvents, radioactive wastes, hazardous substances, sewage, dredged spoils, chemical wastes, rocks, sand, biocides, toxic substances, construction wastes and material and soil sediments, as well as commercial waste.

QUESTION: Now that Hawaiian Telcom has paperless and online statements, do the Board of Water Supply and Hawaiian Electric plan to offer this type of service?

ANSWER: Both utility companies already offer online bill paying.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has offered e-Bill services for about two years, according to a spokeswoman. Go to boardofwatersupply.com and click on "frequently asked questions" under Customer Service.

All three Hawaiian Electric companies offer automatic and online bill payment, said spokesman Peter Rosegg. Go to heco.com and click on "Pay Your Bill."

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 e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

 

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