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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, June 14, 2005


For nondrinkers, soda's on the house

By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Transportation Writer

The state Transportation Department has expanded its popular "D2" summer driving program this year to include more than 50 nightclubs, bars and restaurants statewide that provide complimentary soft drinks to designated nondrinking drivers.

Last year about 30 clubs participated in the program on O'ahu. The success prompted DOT officials to take the program statewide this year.

The idea behind the program is to promote designated drivers during the summer, traditionally a time when more young people are out on the town.

A key element in the program's success has been the participation of Island radio stations, which have donated free air time to tell drivers which bars and restaurants are offering the free nonalcoholic drinks, DOT Director Rod Haraga said.

Gas prices

How bad do gas prices have to get before drivers change their behavior?

According to a new survey, 78 percent of drivers say they'll do something different if prices reach $3 a gallon.

Only 47 percent said they changed their driving habits when the national average hit $2.22 a gallon earlier this year, according to the survey done for Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

See it coming

Traffic safety idea of the week: front brake lights.

DriveTime reader Frank Fellhauer says he has already invented such a device that could help avoid pedestrian accidents.

"One of the major reasons that pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles is because the pedestrian cannot know with any degree of certainty that the oncoming vehicle is indeed braking or accelerating."

Putting brake lights on the front of cars would solve the problem, Fellhauer said.

He already has a patent for such a device and says a major foreign car manufacturer is considering adopting it for its new models.

High-rise hawai'i

Still think of Honolulu as a small town? Think again.

Emporis.com reports that Honolulu is fourth in the nation when it comes to the number of high-rise buildings (10 stories or more).

The company, which specializes in geography information, says there are 424 high-rise buildings in the urban core from Pearl Harbor to Hawai'i Kai. That's enough to make us 14th in the world.

In America, only New York City (5,454), Chicago, (1,042) and Los Angeles (449) have more high-rises than Honolulu.

Reach Mike Leidemann at 525-5460 or mleidemann@honoluluadvertiser.com.