Sergeant: Speeding operation meets goals
Police officers gave out 634 traffic citations, including 530 for speeding, and arrested a speeding robbery suspect during stepped-up enforcement for the weeklong Operation SPEED, which concluded Saturday.
Most of the ticketed drivers were going 15 to 25 mph faster than the speed limit on state highways throughout the island, said Sgt. William Hankins of the police Traffic Section. He said it was a good sign that no one was ticketed for excessive speeding, which applies when someone is traveling 30 mph or more above the speed limit.
“The main thing is everybody slowed down, everybody paid attention,” he said.
The vast majority of speeding tickets were given on Mokulele and Haleakala highways, Hankins said. Another speeding hot spot was Honoapiilani Highway in Maalaea and Waikapu.
Hankins said the primary goal of the Speed Enforcement Education Detail was to make Maui County roadways safe and to reduce speed-related fatal collisions.
“The main objective was to get everybody to slow down, let the roadways be used by everybody safely,” Hankins said. “I think we accomplished that.”
No speed-related fatalities were reported during the enforcement, Hankins said.
Police traffic officers were assisted by Wailuku, Kihei and Lahaina patrol officers during the enforcement from July 22 to Saturday.
In addition to issuing the speeding citations, police ticketed 21 drivers for seat-belt violations and six drivers for using cellphones. Another 77 citations were for other violations.
More than half of those cited for cellphone violations drove past officers while talking on cellphones and speeding, Hankins said.
Police made arrests for six offenses during the enforcement. Three were for outstanding warrants.
A 29-year-old woman was arrested for resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle and reckless driving.
And Stanceford Kaina Jr., 23, suspected of being the getaway driver in a robbery attempt Wednesday morning at Minit Stop in Wailuku, was arrested after being stopped for speeding on Honoapiilani Highway in Maalaea. Kaina was Lahaina-bound when he was ticketed for going 62 mph in the 45-mph zone near Carl’s Jr., police said.
The fine for speeding is $5 per mile over the speed limit plus $67 in court fees.
Drivers cited for excessive speeding by going at least 30 mph above the speed limit or at least 81 mph must appear in court.
Hankins said traffic enforcement will continue.
With students about to return to school, he said officers will be accompanying crossing guards at school locations and looking for traffic violations.
“If you’re on your cellphone, you can expect a citation,” Hankins said.
Under a new state law covering use of hand-held mobile electronic devices by drivers, a cellphone citation requires a court appearance. The law also bans all use of mobile electronic devices, even when hands-free, by drivers under age 18.
Fines are $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense within a year and $300 for a third offense within two years. The fines double for drivers in school or construction zones.
Money collected from traffic fines goes to the state general fund.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.