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Newer metal-free motorcycles may not trigger signal lights

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Question: I ride my motorcycle home from work around midnight off H-2 freeway north and the Mililani town exit. I want to turn left from Meheula Parkway to Kuahelani Avenue, but my bike won’t signal the computer circuitry to change the light from red to green (regardless of where I stop on the loop) unless there is another car behind me, which is rare at midnight. Is there anything that can done?

Answer: The city Department of Transportation Services said it would send someone to adjust the sensors to be more sensitive to motorcycles at that stop.

For similar or future problems, call the Traffic Signal Maintenance Division at 768-5323.

Sensors that trigger light changes are metal sensitive, not weight sensitive.

The problem is that motorcycles are being built with alloys or plastics, so are not easily detectable by the sensors, Ty Fukumitsu, chief of the Traffic Signals and Technology Division, said previously about a similar situation.

He told us recently the situation basically remains the same.

Fukumitsu suggested the first time that motorcyclists should place their vehicles atop the little squares cut into the pavement at traffic stops to maximize "pickup."

See for more information.

Question: I was on my way to work Wednesday morning when I saw a police officer in a police vehicle stopped at the intersection of Nimitz Highway and Aolele Street. I saw him use a cell phone. I thought you weren’t supposed to use a cell phone while driving, regardless if you’re not moving, unless you’re pulled off the road and the engine is turned off.

Answer: Police officers and other "emergency responders" are exempt from the city law prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving if they are doing so "in the performance and scope of their official duties."

An officer doesn’t necessarily have to be responding to an emergency, a Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman said.

Other emergency responders include firefighters, emergency medical technicians, mobile intensive care technicians, Civil Defense workers, and federal and state law enforcement officers.

Another point: HPD says it’s also against the law to pull over to the shoulder of the H-1, H-2 or H-3 freeways for nonemergencies. Thus, pulling over on those roadways simply to take or make a non-emergency call also is prohibited.

For more information about the law, go to HPD’s website



To the cashier and manager at Ward Theatres for letting us in to see "Karate Kid" last Friday, after my grandson lost his ticket. We had arrived more than an hour early to purchase our tickets, so we went to lunch and to shop. Somewhere along the way, my grandson lost his ticket. By the time we got to the box office to buy another ticket for the 12:15 p.m. performance, the line was all the way to the escalator and the time we wanted was sold out. I explained to the cashier what happened and offered to buy another ticket if they would let me trade in my ticket for the next performance. He was very gracious and courteous and offered to check with his manager. The manager met us at the door and let us in to see the movie, which by the way, was great, without having to buy another ticket and wait another hour and a half. I am sorry I did not get their names. — Lorrie Chee

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


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