Press Release: DOH, Community Celebrates World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
Posted on November 18, 2022 in Current Department News, Newsroom
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and community members are raising awareness of traffic fatality victims to commemorate World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on November 20.
There were 527 traffic-related deaths in Hawaii from 2017 to 2021. From January to June 2022 there were 60 deaths nationwide, compared to 46 for the same period in 2021.
Buildings across the state are illuminated in orange from November 20 through Thanksgiving week to commemorate victims and their families and to honor first responders. Participating buildings include O’ahu’s Aloha Tower and IBM Building and Kaua’i’s Mo’ikeha Building. Partners include the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the Kauai and Honolulu Police Departments, and the Howard Hughes Corporation.
“The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is an important reminder that we can all take action to improve road safety,” said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, Chief of Emergency Medicine and Accident Prevention System.
In 2021, US traffic fatalities increased 9% from 2020 and 18% from 2019, according to estimates by the National Safety Council.
“MADD believed the closures and reduced mileage would result in fewer road fatalities in 2020 and 2021. We were wrong. With more people driving in 2022, the alarming estimates for the first quarter point to another deadly spike,” said Theresa Paulette of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii. “We can expect alcohol-related deaths to increase. This is a community issue. We can and must do better. Drunk driving is a 100% preventable crime. It’s really simple: if you value life, your own and that of others – don’t drink and don’t drive.”
The DOH’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Accident Prevention System reminds all drivers to slow down, buckle up, avoid emergency vehicles, and refrain from drinking and driving. Law enforcement agencies across the state are always on the lookout for impaired driving, especially on Thanksgiving weekend and other holidays. The Maui Police Department will operate its 4th Annual Hannah Brown Memorial Impaired Driving Awareness Checkpoint on November 23rd. Hannah was a Maui teenager who was killed by a drunk driver driving on the wrong side of the road.
For more information on National World Remembrance Day events, visit worlddayofremembrance.org.
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Katie Arita Chang
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 286-4806