The Maui News - Traffic deaths on Maui County roads are up by more than 60 percent this year, and police say alcohol use is suspected in three-fourths of the crashes.
Eighteen people have died in 17 crashes this year, a 64 percent increase over the 11 deaths in 11 crashes at the same time last year.
"It's showing in our results that alcohol is the main cause and along with that, speed, too," said Lt. Bobby Hill, commander of the police Traffic Section. "The public can help us by obeying the speed limit. If you're going to be drinking, get a designated driver or use the Maui Bus."
Six of the crashes this year have killed motorcyclists, and three have resulted in the deaths of pedestrians, with alcohol use suspected in all of the motorcycle and pedestrian deaths, Hill said. He said all three pedestrian deaths occurred at night or in the early morning while the pedestrians were in the roadway. In all of the motorcycle crashes, speed also has been a factor, Hill said.
Police officials said they couldn't pinpoint a reason for the increase in traffic deaths this year, following the 13 traffic deaths last year-the lowest number in a decade, according to police records. Since 2000, the highest number of traffic deaths was recorded in 2001, when 28 people died in 26 crashes on Maui County roads.