Hawaii, just reading its name is enough to make you smell the water and feel the sun on your skin. This gorgeous state has one of the richest cultures and its natural beauty is unparalleled. Driving through the streets of any of the Hawaiian Islands is an incredible experience in itself, as you are then surrounded by beautiful scenery and gorgeous views of the coastline. The freedom you feel when in Hawaii, however, should not be exercised recklessly in a way that affects yours and others’ safety on the road.
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Even in this dreamlike destination, there are traffic laws, and this is what you should know about them.
In Hawaii, like most states, it is illegal to text and drive, but the prohibition is not limited to text. Being behind the wheel in Hawaii puts you under the obligation to pay attention to driving safely. This is why any action that distracts you from the task of driving, be it using the phone, fidgeting with the radio, yelling at the kids in the back seat, or even eating is illegal.
It is of course also illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition to putting yourself and another driver or pedestrian at risk, you would also be arrested for a DUI.
Don’t Leave the Scene
It is illegal under Hawaiian traffic laws to leave the scene of an accident. So, if you are involved in a traffic accident, stick around and report the accident immediately. If you are harmed or injured by a distracted, reckless or drunk driver, you could always seek legal support from a reliable Hawaii law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. Experienced personal injury lawyers could help you seek compensation for your injury.
In Honolulu, not only drivers are to avoid distractions, but pedestrians as well. Under what is commonly called the Distracted Walking Law, you could be fined $35 to $99 for using your phone or any other electronic device while crossing the street. It is better to keep your phone in your pocket while walking, to avoid the temptation of using it at the risk of breaking the law.
Seat Belts for All
While many drivers wear their seat belts, it is, unfortunately, less common for the passengers in the car to do the same. In Hawaii, it is required by traffic law that all the passengers, as well as the driver, wear their seat belts at all times. This also includes passengers in the back seats.
Keeping children safe in any moving vehicle is a top priority, that is why in Hawaii, all children under the age of 4 must be in a child safety seat. While children between the ages of 4 to 17 need to wear their seat belts and be in the back seats.
No Alcohol in The Car
Even if you are not drinking it, just having alcohol in the car is illegal in Hawaii. This applies even if the bottles are empty. The only exception to these rules is if the alcohol bottles or containers are sealed and have never been used or opened before.
If you are above 18 years old and have a driving license from any other state, you are permitted to drive in Hawaii. You could also use your license if it is issued from Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Canada, or the Northern Mariana Islands. You should always have your license with you when driving in Hawaii and be ready to present it to officials when needed.
Adhering to maximum and minimum speed limits posted on speed limit signs is mandatory. These signs may dictate speed limits that apply at specific times or under certain conditions, such as rain. The limits could also vary according to the type of vehicle. If you are stopped for speeding, you are sure to pay a hefty fine. Car racing and speed contests are also prohibited on all public streets and highways in Hawaii.
Although excessive speed is the more dangerous of the two, driving below the minimum speed limit is also illegal. Hawaii is known for its remarkable beauty, but driving at 15mph in a 35mph zone to enjoy the scenery or admire landmarks is not okay.
Attempting to find a parking spot on the streets of Hawaii, particularly during the day, is a challenge in itself. As frustrating as it could be, you should always pay attention to the parking signs and avoid leaving your car in prohibited locations. It will be towed away and it is going to cost you a lot.
One last thing you should know about Hawaii is that it is characteristically a calm and peaceful place. Local residents rarely honk their car horns except in cases of extreme urgency, so try to relax, keep the above traffic laws in mind, and enjoy the relaxing experience of driving in paradise.