Kokua Line: No law against flag on truck, but usual hazard rules would apply
Question: Are those large flags that people are flying from their trucks legal in traffic like that? I witnessed a near-miss this morning.
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Question: Are those large flags that people are flying from their trucks legal in traffic like that? I witnessed a near-miss this morning. A truck with a large Hawaiian flag flying upside down nearly hit a car while changing lanes. The flag must have obscured the driver’s view in the side mirror.
Answer: “There is no law that specifically prohibits flags and banners from being flown from vehicles. However, there are laws that prohibit freight from projecting beyond the width of the vehicle and objects from obstructing the driver’s view through the vehicle windows. HPD is aware of the growing number of vehicles displaying large flags and banners and has begun discussing the situation. The department’s primary concern is the safety of everyone using the road, and any object that impedes a driver’s view or distracts other drivers could possibly be a potential safety hazard,” said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department.
“The public should call 911 if the vehicle is being operated in a hazardous manner, such as speeding or cutting off other vehicles,” she said.
We’ve received similar questions from many other readers, referring to Oahu drivers who are flying flags in solidarity with Native Hawaiians and others on the island of Hawaii who have blocked construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea for the past three months. The state flag, flown upside down as a sign of distress, and a yellow, red and green flag adopted by some as a symbol of Hawaiian sovereignty, are commonly sighted.
Some readers calling Kokua Line said they too oppose construction of the TMT, on environmental or indigenous-rights grounds, and support flying the flags in controlled traffic situations, such as during parades or permitted convoys. But they object to flying such large flags from vehicles in regular traffic, especially on the freeway, which they described as dangerous and distracting.
Q: Which satellite city halls do state ID renewals? I can’t get anyone to answer the phone.
A: On Oahu you can renew or replace (duplicate) your state ID at the Downtown, Hawaii Kai, Pearlridge or Windward City satellite city halls, or at any driver licensing center. Appointments are recommended. You can’t make an appointment by phone, only online. Go to www.honolulu.gov/csd and click on “appointments.”
There wouldn’t be this rush for “gold stars” if the state had put them on their “REAL IDs” in the first place. We went through all of this already! We shouldn’t have to be paying again, not even $6 for a duplicate. — A reader
(Other readers have expressed similar sentiments, referring to the fact that the Hawaii’s Department of Transportation added the gold star to its federally compliant state IDs and driver’s licenses in 2018, years after other states adopted the standard mark of compliance. As of October 2020 the gold star will be required on any state ID or driver’s license a person uses to enter certain federal facilities, including the security line at U.S. airports.)
On Oct. 6, on the way back to my car after Children & Youth Day, I dropped a bank bag with cash and checks to deposit for a nonprofit. I didn’t realize I’d lost it until I got home. Friends searched the area and the parking garage and didn’t find it. Meanwhile, Katelyn of Salt Lake had found the bag and given it to her mom, Jonalyn, who found a receipt in the bag with the name and phone number of one of our members. She called the number, and we met her the following night to retrieve the bank bag. When we thanked her, she said, “I would hope any good-hearted citizen would do the same.” We are very glad Katelyn and Jonalyn are good-hearted citizens! — Grateful bookkeeper
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.