Hawai’i remembers 527 deaths in five years on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
Today, on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and community members are raising awareness about the state’s victims of traffic fatalities.
In Hawaiʻi, there were 527 traffic-related deaths from 2017-2021. From January through June 2022, there have been 60 fatalities statewide, compared to 46 during the same period in 2021.
Buildings across the state will be lit orange from November 20 through Thanksgiving week in remembrance of victims and their loved ones, and to honor first responders. Participating buildings include Kauaʻi’s Moʻikeha building.
Partners include the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, Kauaʻi and Honolulu police departments and the Howard Hughes Corporation.
“World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims serves as an important reminder that we can all take steps to improve road safety,” said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch Chief.
In 2021, deaths from traffic crashes in the United States increased 9% from 2020 and 18% from 2019, according to estimates from the National Safety Council.
Theresa Paulette from Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaiʻi said: “MADD believed the lockdowns and decreased miles traveled would result in fewer traffic fatalities in 2020 and 2021. We were wrong. With more people driving in 2022, the alarming estimates for the first quarter indicate another deadly increase.
“We can surmise that there will be an increase in alcohol-related fatalities. This is a community issue. We can and must do better. Drunk driving is a 100% preventable crime. It is truly simple: If you value life, your own, and others — don’t drink and drive.”
The Department of Health reminds all drivers to slow down, buckle up, yield for emergency vehicles and don’t drink and drive. Law enforcement statewide is always on the lookout for impaired driving, especially during Thanksgiving weekend and other holidays.
For more information about national World Day of Remembrance events, visit worlddayofremembrance.org.