Maui police will be stepping up enforcement of speeding on major state highways islandwide next week as part of Operation SPEED.
"The main object is to get people to slow down and be aware of what's going on out there," said Sgt. William Hankins of the police Traffic Section.
He said traffic officers will work with patrol officers from Wailuku, Kihei and Lahaina patrol districts to ticket speeding drivers as part of the special enforcement from Sunday to July 27. The enforcement will be done on state highways, including Honoapiilani, Piilani, Mokulele, Hana, Haleakala and Kuihelani highways.
"The Maui Police Department will be activating traffic enforcement strategies to stop and cite cars that travel in excess of the posted speed limit on Maui highways," said Police Chief Gary Yabuta. "We urge all drivers to drive within all posted speed limits at all times, thereby reducing the chances for motor vehicle accidents and associated injury and death."
The fine for speeding is $5 per mile over the speed limit plus $67 in court fees.
That amounts to $142 for someone driving 15 mph over the speed limit and $167 for someone driving 20 mph over the speed limit.
Drivers cited for excessive speeding by going at least 30 mph above the speed limit or at least 81 mph must appear in court. A conviction for a first offense carries penalties including a fine, driver's license suspension and 36 hours of community service or two to five days in jail.
While the enforcement targets speeding, officers also will issue citations for other offenses, including cellphone use by drivers, Hankins said.
Under a new state law covering use of hand-held mobile electronic devices by drivers, a cellphone citation requires a court appearance. The law also bans all use of mobile electronic devices, even when hands free, by drivers under age 18.
Fines are $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense within a year and $300 for a third offense within two years. The fines double for drivers in school or construction zones.
"We're looking for voluntary compliance from the public with the speed limit and other laws," Hankins said. "But if not, we will be out there to remind them."
Fines collected from traffic enforcement go to the state general fund.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.