Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recent asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa,
Q: Why is it illegal to have wide tires on lifted trucks or lowriders?
A: Maui County Code chapter 10.20.450 (“Mudguards”) states that tires must not protrude farther than any fender or other attachment, as that creates a potential safety hazard. Specifically, the code states that no person shall operate on any highway any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer unless equipped with “fenders, covers or devices, including flaps or splash aprons or unless the body of the vehicle or attachments afford adequate protection to effectively minimize the spray or splash of water or mud to the rear of the vehicle.” According to the State Dept. of Transportation (DOT) Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual for Inspectors of Passenger Cars and Light Trucks, vehicles will not pass safety inspection if the vehicle’s fenders are missing, loosely attached, damaged or do not cover the width of the tire tread. Vehicle owners should check with their safety inspection station before purchasing and installing wider tires that exceed the vehicle manufacturer’s tire size recommendations to ensure they are able to pass inspection.
Q: I was reading that story about how the Coast Guard wasted taxpayer dollars searching for someone out at sea because they found a kayak adrift off of Olowalu. These folks have more important things to do than conduct searches just because someone’s kayak or surfboard blew out into the ocean while they were taking a nap on the beach. Can these people be fined for being careless?
A. Instead of imposing a fine, there is a simpler solution: Make sure you label your stand-up paddle board, kayak or other ocean craft with your up-to-date contact information. That way if it does get blown out to sea and is reported to the U.S. Coast Guard, they can attempt to contact the owner to find out if they are okay. This will help to prevent any unnecessary search and rescue operations and save Coast Guard resources for those who really do need their assistance. The Coast Guard recommends using a waterproof pen to write your contact information. Waterproof “Paddle Smart” labels that stick to your board or kayak are available free of charge at the Coast Guard headquarters in Maalaea, or at their Kahului office located at 95 Lono Avenue. For more information on the Paddle Smart program, visit www.uscg.mil/d13/paddlesmart/.
Q: How do I report tires dumped on the side of the highway? They’re such an eyesore. For that matter, sometimes I notice cars on the roadside that look abandoned. Is there a number to call so they can be tagged and possibly hauled away?
Q: To report illegal dumping, including tires, you can call Malama Maui Nui (formerly known as Community Workday) at 877-2524. Malama Maui Nui is funded by a County grant to clean up illegal dump sites. For abandoned vehicles, call the non-emergency line at Maui Police Department, 244-6400, and press “0” to file an initial report about an abandoned vehicle. Thank you for helping keep our roadways safe and clear of trash, dumped items and automotive debris.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street,9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.