The full State Senate will vote on a proposal allowing the use of red light camera systems at island intersections.
The Senate's Ways and Means Committee passed SB 663 earlier today. The measure would allow counties to set up programs to catch drivers running red lights.
The bill states the systems use sensor equipment in crosswalks, which are connected to a self-contained camera system. The cameras will then take two pictures. One of the rear of the car with the license plate, and the other of the entire intersection.
"We had over a hundred deaths last year. 42 pedestrians, which is a record for Hawaiʻi," said Daniel Alexander, Planning and Communications Director for the Hawaiʻi Bicycling League. "There are measures we need to take to make our streets safer, and I think there's a consensus behind that."
But there are also those who oppose the bill, saying there are certain aspects of it that are concerning.
Natalie Iwasa submitted testimony against SB 663. "My concern is that the way the bill is written, they send tickets to the car owner," she said.
"And if that person were not driving, then he or she would have to take some measures to prove that he or she was not the driver at the time. So basically it's making the innocent prove they were not guilty."
There are also concerns regarding the rise in rear-end collissions. Those who commented against the measure detailed how drivers could stop suddenly to avoid running the red light.
"I appreciate the bill's intent to make our streets safer," said Iwasa. "But I don't think this is the right way to go about it."
SB 663 will be up for a full Senate vote before crossing over to the House for consideration.
You can read Senate Draft 1 of the bill below.