WAILUKU - Continuing a crackdown on loud mufflers, illegal window tint and other traffic violations, police traffic officers gave out 604 citations last week in South Maui.
"The bottom line is we're going to be more proactive throughout the county regarding traffic enforcement," said Lt. David Silva, commander of the police Traffic Section. "We do have a lot of complaints about drivers running red lights, using cellphones.
"Through our enforcement, our goal is not only to cite but to educate people."
The citations issued during "Operation Safe and Quiet Community" from Feb. 6 to Friday included 263 for loud mufflers, 57 for illegal window tint and 284 for other violations, including speeding and expired vehicle tax decals.
The loud muffler citations, often for aftermarket mufflers installed without sound-dampening baffling, carry a $77 fine.
The fine is $287 per window for illegal window tint that allows less than 35 percent of light in.
Darker window tint can be a safety hazard for the driver of a vehicle with illegally tinted windows, making it hard for the driver to see, especially at night, Silva said.
He said drivers who are cited should get the problems corrected. "You can get cited the next day if the problem is not rectified," Silva said.
The crackdown on loud mufflers, illegal window tint, extended tires and other safety violations began last month when traffic officers gave out 386 citations, mostly in Kahului, during four days of enforcement.
During a police town hall meeting in Kihei last month, residents said they wanted to see police bring the same kind of enforcement to their community. Some residents said loud mufflers disrupt quiet in neighborhoods. Others complained about speeding, cellphone use and other traffic violations.
Silva said it wasn't hard to find violations in South Maui last week, with traffic officers issuing an average of about 120 citations a day.
"It's a problem that's generating a lot of complaints, and we're trying to deter people," he said. "You can see it - people running red lights and disregarding the right of way of other people, disregarding people's safety.
"By being out there, we're going to be proactive."
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.