Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Aloha Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Newly returned to the island, I was pulled over for violating the “Move Over Law,” which I was completely unaware of and have not seen any education on since being pulled over and slapped with a criminal “petty misdemeanor” charge with up to 30 days in jail. I agree that this is an important law – moving over a lane to protect safety personnel. However, I didn’t know about the law, so I slowed down in my lane and kept to the left. Now I have to go to court in November and am facing up to 30 days in jail. Scares the heck out of me. Why are there no signs saying “Move over” anywhere? I think the public needs to be made aware of this before we start hitting law-abiding people like me with petty criminal charges. I am now afraid to use the highways at all around here and may move back to mainland if this turns out badly. It would be sad for Maui to have me leave. I’ve retained an attorney who says not to worry, but I worry. I hope you can use your ask the mayor space to educate folks about Move Over. I actually counted at least 100 cars doing what I did as the officer behind me had his lights flashing. And I pulled WAY over into the grass to keep him safe as he approached my car, so I do get that cars speeding by is unsafe for our officers conducting operations on side of roads. I will obey the law going forward, but hard to obey laws you don’t know about. And seems ridiculous to be slapped with criminal charge when I knew nothing bout the law and was driving very safely already to protect the officers. Just didn’t pull over. Would have had I known of the law.
A: Although you may have been out-of-state when it became a law here in 2012, you should know that all 50 states now have a “Move Over” law with Hawaii being one of the last ones to adopt it. Hawaii Revised Statute 291C-0027 “Emergency vehicle stopped for emergencies; duty of approaching vehicle,” states that when approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the roadside and has flashing emergency lights on, a driver must slow down and change lanes into the adjacent lane if it is safe to do so, or if possible, two lanes over. Maui Police Department says there have been several press releases about the law since it was enacted. The press releases were covered by all the major TV news channels in the state, as well as in the Maui News, Maui Now, MauiWatch and other local news outlets; the last press release in August, 2014 stated that 60 citations had been given out in a two-week period. To read the full text of the “Move Over” law, visit www.capitol.hawaii.gov; locate the blue box on the lower left with the “Hawaii Revised Statutes” search bar, and type in HRS_0291C-0027.
Q: Will South Kihei Road be repaired or at least repainted anytime soon? There are so many patches and potholes and the center lines and crosswalks are washed out.
A: Our Public Works department informs me that South Kihei Road from Lipoa Street to Kauha’a Street is tentatively scheduled to be resurfaced in 2017. The section from Kauhaa Street to Kulanihakoi Street is scheduled for resurfacing in 2018. The County recognizes the deteriorating pavement conditions at these sections of South Kihei Road, and has made it a priority for resurfacing.
Q: When will the tennis courts at Eddie Tam be repaired? Both courts are in deplorable condition with cracks approximately ½ inch-wide crossing the courts. The nets are damaged and sagging. Out of four light poles with dual lights, one and a half pairs are not working, another pair will not stay on, leaving three lights in operation where there should be eight. In addition, the wind screening around the court is no longer in existence.
A: The results of the Parks needs assessment survey, which was mailed recently to many Maui County households, will help determine any future repairs or rebuilding of the tennis courts at Eddie Tam, Haliimaile and Pukalani. Park users may not realize just how expensive it is to repair, which is a temporary band-aid fix that costs $20,000-30,000 per court, or completely rebuild ($300-500,000 per court) tennis courts. The tennis community at large seems to prefer placing several courts at one location, rather than the current situation where fewer courts are located at multiple sites that are not ideal to begin with, weather-wise. If you received a Park needs survey in the mail, please be sure to complete and return it so the Parks department has sufficient data so that future funding for tennis court improvements can be prioritized accordingly.
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: 808-270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.