One of the first bumper stickers we saw when we first came to Maui 13 years ago offered some very good advice - "Slow down, this ain't the Mainland."
Starting today, Maui police will spend a week to get people to heed that advice the hard way. Operation SPEED will be an enhanced effort by traffic and patrol officers to enforce speed limits on the island's state highways.
A story last week in The Maui News detailed the effort and reminded drivers here that the fine for speeding is $5 per mile per hour over the speed limit plus $67 in court costs.
We're astonished when we see folks traveling at 60, 65 or even 70 miles per hour on our roads. Distances between most communities here are so short that traveling at 70 mph between Kihei and Kahului instead of the posted 55 will probably save the driver at most two to three minutes.
When the cops bust that 70-mph driver this week, he may have cause to wonder if those two or three minutes were worth $142.
Now, a three- to four-hour trip on the Mainland could tempt someone to push the pedal to the metal. But a 15-minute trip on Maui? That shouldn't even cause the most impatient driver to speed.
The police will also be looking for drivers that are distracted by using cellphones and other hand-held electronic devices. Fines for those offenses are $100 for a first offense, $200 for second and $300 for a third.
So be safe and save yourself a little cash this week. Slow down and turn off that cellphone.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.