Drink Driving in Hawaii

Visitors: Maui Targets New Zero Tolerance Driving Campaign

Maui Police Department is the first in Hawaii to spearhead the Put The Phone Away Or Pay campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Does that mean the other islands are not taking cell phone use seriously when driving on our roads? With the national campaign starting April 1, time is running out for them to join publicly.

Maui will have zero tolerance for using mobile electronic devices, especially during the campaign period, which runs through April. The “Put The Phone Away Or Pay” campaign led by NHTSA is more than just extra enforcement; it’s part of a collective effort to improve Hawaii road safety for everyone, residents and visitors alike. In doing so, Maui hopes to set a precedent for responsible tourism and community safety.

According to the Maui Police Department Facebook page, “Motorists can also expect saturation patrols, which will include the use of unmarked patrol vehicles, where there is a noticeable increase in traffic enforcement to address distracted driving (cell phone use) while driving.”

“We need our community to understand it is up to them to make the decision to put their phone down and buckle up while driving. Please help put an end to senseless and preventable crashes that have occurred on our roadways due to distracted driving.”

Maui Police Department

We checked the Facebook pages of police departments on Kauai, Oahu and Big Island. There was no mention of this campaign, which is focused on distracted driving awareness and enforcement. Our research found that the Kauai Police Department has not posted anything on Facebook since October 2022.

NHTSA wants to reduce avoidable crashes and fatalities linked to distracted driving. While the State of Hawaii has legislation against using cell phones while driving, the Maui campaign is intended to call attention to the issue.

Currently, fines in Hawaii start at $300 and go to $400 if you are caught driving and using a cell phone in a construction area or school zone. Read the Hawaii law on this for more information.

Accidents and distracted driving are issues for Hawaii residents and visitors equally. This heightened focus on reducing distracted driving is especially pertinent for visitors who may be unfamiliar with Maui roads and driving customs, and may be using mapping on their phone for navigation.

For Maui’s visitors, who flock to the island for its stunning landscapes and warm Aloha spirit, this campaign is an important reminder of responsible driving while on vacation. It is easy enough to be distracted by the island’s beauty when driving without adding cell phone use.

The campaign sends a critical message to both residents and visitors: the act of driving demands full attention and responsible behavior. Not using cell phones while driving is a legal and moral obligation.

Please help make Maui and all Hawaii roads safer for everyone, carrying the message of aloha by caring for one another’s safety!

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32 thoughts on “Visitors: Maui Targets New Zero Tolerance Driving Campaign”

    1. No, not while driving. You set it “before” you leave. I am lucky to have a Tesla and the screen is built in. I always put my final destination (with or without stops in between) before I leave. I can also ajust the screen. I am not doing that while I am driving. Wheather it’s a Tesla screeen or your phone, if you get lost, you need to find a safe place to stop. Isn’t that what was done for decades ..stopping to look at a map? People have lost all common sense.

      1. Well no bck before pols itching to be the next dear leader ruled you just looked at your map While Driving. I try to rent mustangs which have a gps built in. But as most cars dont have gps the law should have an exception for using your phone as a map. But why give up a chance to punish the modern day 3rd estate with big fines which can be used to spend on projects the big $ donors want but will never pay a lenny in taxes.

      2. Thanks for your reply and I agree. I asked because as a fairly frequent visitor I usually have a rental car and so I like to use my phone for navigation and wanted to be sure it wasn’t against the new law to be looking at the phone screen even for that.

  1. Distracted driving is not limited to Maui. It’s a daily occurrence throughout the islands to be stuck behind someone staring down into their lap while the light turns green.

    The more egregious Maui driving behavior are tourists who exit their vehicles on one-lane bridges over waterfalls to take pictures, stuffing up traffic in both directions and making it almost impossible for emergency vehicles to get through. Those folks need a one-way transfer to the airport and get booted off the island permanently.

    1. I agree that people should be attentive when they drive and tourists should be more considerate. However I used to live in Sedona, Arizona which is a big tourist destination and a lot of the road ways were single lane, and tourist drivers were very distracted by the mountains and red rock views. It could be very frustrating for the residents but for for the most part we reminded ourselves to be patient with them because they brought a lot to our local economy and made it possible for us to have amenities we otherwise wouldn’t have had. Not that dangerous or discourteous driving is ok but it might help us all to try to exercise a little patience with each other.

  2. I am so happy to hear about this. Distracted driving is a horrible habit. Also happy with any enforcement to get people to slow down, and pay attention to driving.

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  3. Almost 8 months since the 100 Lahaina fire deaths. Have Pelletier and the Maui police testified about why the blocked streets and failure to evacuate residents?
    Sad State, no justice for the victims?

    49
    1. No help for us fire survivers and the state thinks it’s a good idea to do this! What a waste of time and taxpayers money. Stop the BS campaigns and start helping us Lahaina residents in actual need. Disgraceful!

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