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HDOT NEWS RELEASE: HDOT highway safety recognized for traffic safety efforts

Posted on Mar 22, 2016 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Highway Safety Staff received special recognition from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for their ongoing efforts to make Hawaii’s roadways a safer place.

In a recent letter, NHTSA Region 9 Administrator Christopher Murphy commended Highway Safety Coordinator Lee Nagano and her staff and highlighted their achievements as reflected in the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Annual Report. Click here for the 2015 Highway Safety Annual Report.

Notable achievements highlighted in the 2015 Annual Report include reductions in traffic fatalities and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. Hawaii is the only state to declare a “Pedestrian Safety Month” to bring awareness to communities through pedestrian and driver education and media campaigns.

Education and media outreach is a factor credited with helping decrease traffic fatalities in Hawaii from 102 in 2013 to 95 in 2014.In the same time period alcohol impaired driving fatalities decreased from 34 in 2013 to 32 in 2014. NHTSA noted the improvements are especially encouraging considering the increase in both the population and the amount vehicles on Hawaii roadways.

Hawaii also ranks as one of the highest states in the nation when it comes to seat belt usage. In 2015, the rate of seat belt usage was 93 percent. The Highways Safety Staff collaborates with the four county police departments to encourage proper seat belt use year round through the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

“I’d like to echo Administrator Murphy’s commendation of the hard work and passion the Highway Safety Staff put into making Hawaii’s roads safer for pedestrians and drivers. It takes a concerted effort to coordinate and execute the department’s education and media campaigns,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director.  “We would like to thank our many partners including the four County Police Departments, Prosecutors Offices and Transportation Services Departments, the Hawaii State Legislature, Department of Health, traffic advocacy groups and private agencies. We also thank the public for driving cautiously and wearing seat belts. Please remember to always designate a sober driver. Together we can move toward the goal of reducing the traffic fatalities to zero.”