Heed red lights
On Feb. 26 at 1:20 p.m., I had a close call because a driver went through the red light at the intersection of Kilauea Avenue and Kekuanaoa Street.
I was the first car at the traffic light on Kilauea Avenue by HELCO, waiting to make a left turn onto Kekuanaoa Street. The green arrow light came on, and as I was making my left turn, I could see the traffic light by First Hawaiian Bank also with the green arrow light on, with stopped car there.
While making my left turn, I suddenly saw a tall white vehicle from the opposite lane coming straight toward me, and I braced myself, thinking: I AM GOING TO BE HIT.
That vehicle barely missed hitting me, but left tire marks on my car door. How close was that? I was shaken but thankful that there was no damage to my car or any physical harm to me.
I called the county highway department to ask how the green arrow lights work. The clerk referred me to a staff member who called me the next day. He already had an engineer check that traffic light system and found it to be working properly.
He said that the green arrow light is programmed to allow as many left turns as there are cars making the turn; in other words, if there are three cars, the green arrow will stay on to allow the three to make the turn.
If there are 10 cars, the green arrow stays on till the 10 make that left turn. He said that I had the right of way and that the driver was inattentive (maybe on a cellphone) and went through the red light without even thinking.
I went to that intersection three times to observe the traffic. I watched 11 cars making left turns from Kilauea to Kekuanaoa, one after the other while the green arrow light was on. I also saw two cars going through the red light after it had turned red.
I saw many drivers driving safely at that intersection, so I would say most drivers are driving carefully, but it is those few who are in such a rush that they won’t follow rules or even care about endangering others.
Please, everyone, drive carefully by not going through red lights, and help keep our loved ones safe from being injured or killed.
Irene A. Nagao