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Fewer Pedestrian Deaths in Hawai‘i, More Nationwide

With a state lockdown in effect, Hawai‘i saw fewer pedestrian fatalities in 2020 compared to the year before, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

From January to June 2020, there were 12 pedestrian deaths in Hawai‘i-- a 52% decrease compared to the same six months of 2019.

Hawai‘i was one of 20 states and the District of Columbia to see a decrease in pedestrian deaths, and not an increase.

Nationwide, pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise. The GHSA report found that, from 2010 to 2019, pedestrian fatalities rose 46%.

Meanwhile, the number of all other traffic fatalities combined increased 5% during that same time period.

The report makes several recommendations to reduce pedestrian fatalities, including enforcement of motorist laws and complete streets development.

Renee Espiau, the complete streets administrator for the City and County of Honolulu, said the city has been working on a pedestrian plan for O‘ahu and has mapped out areas where accidents to walkers have occurred.

“So we’ve basically mapped the top pedestrian crash locations as well as corridors for injury and fatalities," she said. "Fortunately, we’ve actually got projects going in maybe a third or so of those locations already but it’s certainly already been a really helpful exercise for us to prioritize resources, figure out where to make improvements."

Espiau said she hopes the draft pedestrian plan will be released this spring.

Jason Ubay is the managing editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at jubay@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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