comscore Kokua Line: Red-light traffic cameras planned for Oahu prompt questions, concerns | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Red-light traffic cameras planned for Oahu prompt questions, concerns

Question: Regarding red-light cameras (, why will the camera focus on the rear license plate rather than the front license plate? Based on observation, quite a few vehicles don’t have rear license plates (even though they are required to by law). Plus, it seems like taking pictures of the back of the vehicle is more likely to mistakenly penalize drivers who enter the intersection before the light turns red.

Answer: “The focus on rear license plates is because the proposed photo system is not activated until the traffic light turns red. The system only activates when a motor vehicle crosses the stop line after the traffic-control light turns red. Both the motor vehicle crossing the stop line and the red traffic-control light would be captured in the first photo image taken by the system. The motor vehicle within the intersection and the red traffic-control light will be captured in the second photo image. By law (HRS § 249-7) all motor vehicles are issued two Hawaii license plates and those plates must be securely fastened to the front and rear of the motor vehicle,” said Shelly Kunishige, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

Under the pilot program that is planned to begin at 10 Oahu intersections late this summer, the registered owners of vehicles photographed running red lights would receive tickets in the mail.

Regarding your observation, Kokua Line does receive Auwes about vehicles without a license plate, but the complaints tend to be about Teslas lacking a front license plate, not a rear one.

Q: When/where are the public hearings going to be for the red-light traffic cams?

A: “We have not yet received approval for the public hearing, but we are anticipating approval to hold the hearing sometime in late May or early June. As soon as we do, we will post the virtual meeting information and send out a news release,” Kunishige said.

The hearing will be about proposed administrative rules for the program, not its very existence. The program was established by the passage last year of House Bill 1676, HD 1, SD 2 (, which was signed into law by Gov. David Ige on Sept. 15 as Act 30.

The proposed rules for Hawaii’s “Photo Red Light Imaging Detector System” are posted on the DOT’s website, at

Q: The draft rules say there must be an educational campaign at least 60 days before the system begins operating. So will that campaign begin by May 1? What will it consist of?

A: No, it won’t start that soon, but it will meet the requirements because the pilot program has been pushed back, Kunishige said. “As the implementation date is shifted to late summer, we will meet the 60-day start of the educational campaign. This will include messaging on what to expect at the pilot intersections, information on the warning period, and what to do if you receive a citation or believe you were cited in error,” she said.


Rather than telling people to be patient, they should be saying how easy it is to get a vaccine! I checked Monday and got an appointment for the same day! I was expecting to wait and there were plenty of appointments! Don’t delay! — L.K.

(We double-checked your assertion and found it to be true, at multiple Oahu locations. Anyone age 16 and up who wants to be vaccinated can check Kupuna 60 and older who can’t navigate the online system may call 211 for help making an appointment.)


I wanted to thank the person in the SUV at the Jack in the Box Waipio on Saturday around 9:15 a.m. They paid for my husband’s breakfast order for our family. It’s such a nice gesture and gives you a good feeling to start the day. We will definitely be paying it forward in the future. — Mahalo from the gray Corolla

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

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