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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, January 26, 2002

Changes sought in traffic van program

Major change unlikely for speed limit
Drivers demanded new limits in 1936
Answers to your questions about traffic cams

By Bruce Dunford
Associated Press Writer

Gov. Ben Cayetano said he opposes a move at the Legislature to repeal the law allowing privately operated vans with cameras to tag speeders, despite mistakes made implementing the program.

However, the governor said yesterday he thinks changes can be made to make the traffic camera van system fair and acceptable to the public.

Fourteen of 25 senators, including Vice President Colleen Hanabusa, D-21st (Barbers Point, Makaha, have signed bills calling for the repeal, but Transportation Committee chairman Cal Kawa-

moto, D-19th (Pearl City, Wai-

pahu, who has control of the bills, said he continues to support the program despite public criticism.

"We're taking into account the complaints that have been made that are reasonable," Cayetano said.

He said he wants motorists to know the 10 locations of the vans, that they are only in areas where speeding has been a problem and not at sites where the posted speed limit drops — "We think that's unfair."

"We're not in this business to make money, we're in this business to try to make people slow down," Cayetano said.

Cayetano also said:

• He thinks the additional $5 fine for each mile per hour should kick in at 5 mph over the posted limit instead of the first mile per hour over the limit. He said he asked the Department of Transportation to look into it.

• Making the speeding tickets part of a motorist's driving record where it could affect auto insurance rates, Cayetano said, is the Legislature's decision to make.

• He has asked the Department of Transportation to look at all state roads and highways to see if the posted speed limits are reasonable.

Despite the growing move to repeal the law, Kawamoto said the traffic camera vans are helping to curb speeding. His strategy is to pass a resolution giving the Department of Transportation until 20 days before the end of the legislative session "to address all the concerns."

"When they started, they found 30 percent of the traffic going over the speed limits and now we have about 5 percent," he said.