The Maui Police Department will be participating in the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”enforcement campaign starting on April 1 and continuing until April 30, with additional enforcement of Hawai`i’s Mobile Electronic Device Law.
Law enforcement nationwide will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text while driving. This effort is a part of a high-visibility enforcement campaign that combines intense enforcement of distracted driving laws with advertising and media outreach to gain compliance.
Violating Hawai`i’s Mobile Electronic Device law, which went into effect on July 1, 2013, can be costly. Under Hawai`i Revised Statutes 291C-137, anyone using a Mobile Electronic Device while driving faces a fine of $297; $347 if in a school or construction zone. MEDs include, but are not limited to: cellphones, tablet computers, digital cameras and gaming devices.
MPD is urging all drivers to remember to use a hands free device, pull over or just wait until they reach their destination before using any Mobile Electronic Device.
“Our primary goal during the operation is to make the roadways of Maui County safe for the entire public to use by reducing the number of motor vehicle collisions caused by distracted driving,” the department said on Tuesday.
According to 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, an estimated 3,477 people were killed and an additional 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
According to NHTSA, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on America’s roadways.
MPD is also reminding drivers that the State of Hawai`i has a “Move Over Law” that states drivers approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped with its flashing emergency lights, shall: slow down to a safe speed, make a lane change into the adjacent lane or if possible, to two lanes over which leaves one lane between the driver and the emergency vehicle. If necessary, the driver shall come to a complete stop before making a lane change. Please obey this law and help keep our dedicated emergency workers safe on our roads.