(BIVN) – In a three-day span, two motorcyclists have been killed – and two others have been critically injured – on Hawaiʻi island roads, prompting Hawaiʻi police to offer motorcycle safety tips.
“With traffic fatalities up more than 58 percent over the same time last year, Hawai‘i Police Department (HPD) is strongly urging all motorists to drive safely and be aware of their surroundings as they travel on our island roads,” police wrote in a Thursday news release. “So far this year, 19 people have been killed on our island roadways, an increase of 58.3 percent from 12 killed this time last year. Of the 19 deaths, 21 percent have been motorcycle related with four motorcyclist fatalities.”
On June 13th, a man was killed after his motorcycle struck a sedan on Highway 19, near the intersection of Hau Street, just north of Hilo. Minutes later, a two-vehicle collision occurred in West Hawai‘i. The crash near the intersection of Kaiminani Drive and Ili Ili Street in North Kona severely injured a 57-year-old Kailua-Kona male motorcyclist. Three hours later, a third motorcycle collision occurred at the intersection of Mamaki Street and Highway 11 in Hilo. A 28-year-old Hilo man was taken to the Hilo Medical Center in critical condition, after his motorcycle struck a stopped van.
On June 15th, a 19-year-old Kailua-Kona man operating a motorcycle died following a three-vehicle collision in South Kona, south of the intersection of Highway 180 and Highway 11. The motorcyclist was positively identified as Justice Jayden Kawelu Kaʻawa.
“In addition to reminding car and truck operators to drive with aloha and be mindful of motorcyclists,” the Thursday news release stated. “HPD is providing the following motorcycle safety tips.”
- Always wear a full face helmet when driving or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle, moped, or ATV.
- Make sure you wear a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. Snell and ANSI labels located inside the helmet also show that the helmet meets the standards of those private, non-profit organizations.
- Be visible. Wear brightly colored clothing with reflective material that will make you more visible to other vehicle drivers.
- Wear protective gear. Arms and legs should be covered when riding a motorcycle, ideally by wearing leather or heavy denim providing protection in a crash. Boots or shoes should be high enough to cover your ankles, while gloves allow for a better grip and help protect your hands in the event of a crash.
- Ride defensively. Be mindful that driving a car and riding a motorcycle require different skills and react differently to road conditions. Compared to a car, motorcyclists have a narrow profile on the road and can often be in a vehicle’s blind spot. Both vehicle and motorcycle operators need to be aware of each other on the road and double check before changing lanes, making a turn, or pulling out into traffic.
- Drive sober. Both motorcyclists and car drivers are reminded to drive sober or get pulled over. If you consume any intoxicating substance don’t drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous.
“Hawai‘i Island police wants everyone to arrive alive at their destination this weekend and throughout the year,” police said.