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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 4, 2010

Traffic laws now apply to private roads

By John Burnett
West Hawaii Today

HILO, Hawai'i Gov. Linda Lingle signed a bill on Tuesday that makes it easier for police to enforce traffic laws on private subdivision roads.

The bill, which became law when Lingle signed it, was introduced by House Speaker Calvin Say at Hawai'i County's request. The measure amends state law.

"The inability of law enforcement to enforce traffic laws on these roadways presents a public safety issue," Big Island Police Chief Harry Kubojiri said in testimony submitted March 22 to the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committee.

"This proposed amendment will be beneficial to the public interest as it clearly defines enforceable traffic code statutes and helps ensure continued public safety on these roadways.

"Recently, questions have been raised as to the legality of officers enforcing traffic laws on the roadways within these vast subdivisions, thus creating confusion for community members, subdivisions' land holders, and law enforcement."

Kubojiri's testimony noted there are "hundreds of miles of private roadways which are open to the public" in private subdivisions including, but not limited to, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Orchidland Estates, Hawaiian Acres and Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.