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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 22, 2005

BUREAUCRACY BUSTER
So honk if you're a scofflaw

By Robbie Dingeman

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Q. I read in your column that Honolulu police said there is no statute against "unlawful honking of horn," but I believe there is. Could you find out more about this?

A. Yes, you're right. Honolulu police confirm it's possible to be cited for "unlawful use of horn," though it doesn't happen often. It's a city ordinance, not a state law.

Lt. Jeff Bruchal clarified his earlier answer. Readers wondered what to do about drivers honking at them to hurry up when they were abiding by the new crosswalk law and letting pedestrians pass by.

Bruchal said he was incorrect and it turns out that a driver can be cited on O'ahu under a city ordinance for unnecessarily honking a car horn while waiting behind another vehicle stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. From January to June 2005, he said, Honolulu police issued 11 such citations.

Bruchal said there's also Statewide Traffic Code Section 291C-74 reminding drivers to exercise care, including sounding a horn when needed.

Q. If a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk, are cars still supposed to stop if the pedestrian is in their half of the road until the pedestrian reaches the sidewalk as covered by the new law? If a pedestrian is crossing in a crosswalk when it's not their turn to cross, are cars still supposed to stop until the pedestrian reaches the sidewalk?

A. Bruchal said the new law applies to crosswalks and would also apply to so-called unmarked crosswalks such as at intersections in residential areas. But if someone is clearly jaywalking away from a crosswalk, that law would not apply.

HE MISSED THE BOAT

A reader had complained about a boat that appeared to have been left out for city bulky-item pickup yet remained for weeks. City officials said such a large boat would not be picked up by the bulky-item crews. But they also indicated that the city's landfill would accept a boat if given notice and if the owner dropped it off. The neighbor who complained reports that the boat is gone now. And that was disappointing to another O'ahu man who called to say he'd like to have the old boat.

If you have a question or a problem and need help getting to the right person, you can reach The Bureaucracy Buster one of three ways.

Write to:

THE BUREAUCRACY BUSTER

The Honolulu Advertiser
605 Kapi'olani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96813
E-mail: buster@honoluluadvertiser.com

Phone: 535-2454 and leave a message. Be sure to give us your name and daytime telephone number in case we need more information.

Reach Robbie Dingeman at rdingeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.