Efforts Needed To Protect Protected Pedestrians, Bicyclists in Hawaii

Nationwide, the number of people who choose to bicycle or walk to work increased by 57% between 2000 and 2009.  In Hawaii, that increase was especially pronounced, and the state overall ranked at number 6 in a comparison of all 50 states for biking and walking levels.  Unfortunately, considering the number of people who walk or bike to work in Hawaii, accident lawyers believe that the state does not fare as well when it comes to pedestrian and bicycling safety.

In fact, when it comes to bicycle and pedestrian accident fatalities, Hawaii ranked at number 21 in a comparison of all 50 states.  Even the state of New York with one of the country’s most congested cities, fares much better than Hawaii.  When it comes to a comparison of cities in bicycle and pedestrian accident fatalities, Honolulu is ranked at number 10, with Boston at number one ranked as the city with the lowest number of pedestrian and bicycling fatality numbers.
The report was compiled by the Alliance for Biking and Walking, which reports that while walking and bicycling levels have increased across the country, federal spending on bicycling and pedestrian safety has not kept pace.  In 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System, walking and biking trips accounted for approximately 12% of all trips in the country, but accounted for about 14% of all fatalities.  However, when it came to federal transportation funding, bicycling and walking accounted for a measly 1.6% of dollars.
It’s not as if Hawaii transportation authorities have been blind to the risks facing pedestrians and bicyclists in the state.  Last year, the Department Of Transportation released a draft of a statewide Pedestrian Master Plan to identify some of the hazards on state highways and roadways and develop strategies to prevent pedestrian accidents.  Additionally, the month of August was marked as Pedestrian Safety Month in Hawaii.  While such initiatives are encouraging, the state could do more to encourage bicyclists and pedestrians to walk and bike around safely.
Posted in Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury

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