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Senior pedestrian safety a concern after two seniors are hit while crossing the street this year

<i></i><br/>Hawaii senior pedestrian safety is a concern after two seniors are hit while crossing the street this year.
Lawrence, Nakia

Hawaii senior pedestrian safety is a concern after two seniors are hit while crossing the street this year.

By Diane Ako

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — There’s growing concern about the number of pedestrian crashes and senior safety. In two of the last three incidents in 2023, the victims were senior citizens.

On Monday, both victims were seniors and both were in the marked crosswalk.

The first incident happened before 6 a.m. in Kailua. A vehicle hit a woman in her 60s crossing Keolu Drive. She became the first Oahu traffic fatality in 2023, according to Honolulu Police.

The second incident was later that night in Chinatown at the intersection of North Kukui St. and Maunakea St. A 76-year-old man was left in critical condition after a car hit him at around 9:05 p.m.

“One of the things we have concerns about is, everyone has to share the road. Drivers have to pay attention to pedestrians crossing,” said Keali’i Lopez of AARP Hawaii.

Walter Miyashiro lives near the area where that man was hit. He says he feels fit and healthy, but in general, understands many of his peers are scared to cross the road.

“We might not interpret the distance of the cars going by. We put ourselves in danger,” Miyashiro said.

Puna Frank is a Lanakila resident who also loves to walk every day.

“I almost got hit on Waiakamilo Road. I’m halfway across the street and this guy comes barreling down Houghtailing Blvd.,” she recalled.

Honolulu police say there were 15 fatal pedestrian collisions in 2022 — a 12% decrease compared to 2021. There were 17 pedestrian collisions in 2021 and 16 in 2020.

“Seniors need to walk against oncoming traffic as opposed to with the flow of traffic. Can’t see behind you,” Frank said.

Good advice for people of any age.

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