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Maunakea rangers conduct routine brake checks after 3 accidents

Maunakea Visitor Information Station
University of Hawaiʻi
Maunakea Visitor Information Station

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Maunakea Rangers have some new safety measures for visitors.

Vehicles heading down the mountain will have the temperatures of their brakes checked at the Halepōhaku mid-level facility.

The new rule was established after brake failures caused three accidents so far this year. One of the accidents was fatal.

Nearly a third of all the brakes checked are too hot. Drivers must park their vehicles while they wait for their brakes to cool.

The Rangers recommend using a low or first gear on the drive down. Using fourth gear on the 9-mile long downhill road can overheat the brakes and lead to an accident.

All vehicles trying to reach the summit must be four-wheel drive.

On average, the rangers turn around more than 60% of vehicles inspected.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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