Traffic Enforcement Near Demonstration at Maunakea Nets 610 Citations, 7 Arrests
Increased traffic enforcement on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway on Hawaiʻi Island near the site of an ongoing demonstration, has netted 610 citations and seven suspects arrested for 13 offenses over the past week.
The demonstration, which includes those opposed to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Maunakea, is now in its sixth week with the crowd size swelling into the thousands on some days.
Police assigned to be in place for the blockade and encampment at the base of Maunakea Access Road stepped up traffic enforcement on Thursday, Aug. 15, in response to two traffic collisions that occurred in the vicinity.
“The enforcement effort is intended to ensure the safety of the motorist and protestors alike, with the current situation of pedestrians and vehicles congregating on the roadway shoulders of a 60 mph traffic zone,” police said in a department press release.
The 610 citations included the following: Speeding (167); Seatbelt (41); Child Restraint (6); Cellular Phone/Electronic device (15); Tint (9); No Driver’s License (17); No Insurance (23); Unsafe vehicle (87); Other moving violation (43); No License plate (24); Regulatory (176); and Parking (2).
The 13 offenses that resulted in seven arrests included the following: Driving under the Influence of Intoxicants (3); Contempt warrants (3); Failure to Provide Identification (1); Resisting order to Stop motor vehicle (1); Excessive Speeding (1); Driving without an operator license (2); and No Insurance (2).
Police say enhanced traffic enforcement efforts will continue on Daniel K. Inouye Highway by Hawaiʻi Police Department “for the duration of the ongoing situation with the resulting impact of increased traffic and pedestrians.”
Those against the telescopeʻs construction cite cultural and religious beliefs for their resistance, while supporters claim that TMT would propel scientific research and education.