On The Beat #16
Q: Dear Chief Perry
Also, perhaps you could emphasize the importance of wearing a helmet and brightly-colored riding apparel. These items both protect the rider and make bicyclists (and moped riders and motorcyclists!) easier to see.
As an avid bicyclist, I want to let the driving public know that I can hear vehicles coming up from behind me. I use a mirror so I can see them approach as well. The vast majority of drivers are courteous, and on behalf of all of Kauai's bicycle riders, I thank them for their good manners and kokua!
A: Thank you Ann. Regulations pertaining to bicycles come under Hawaii Revised Statutes 291C-141 through 291c-150.Basically, cyclists as well as motorist are afforded the same privileges with respect to the use of our roadways. But our laws under HRS 291C-142 also states that “Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” In other words, as a bicyclists I can’t run stop signs, red lights, ride in the opposite direction from traffic, exceed the posted speed limit, et cetera.
The same rules that apply to motorists apply to bicyclists as well. However, if a bicyclist is riding slower than the flow of traffic, he/she must stay to the right of the road. This does not mean that the bicyclist must ride into every pothole, or broken beer bottle.The bicyclist also has the right to avoid dangerous obstacles, but must signal their intentions prior to going around the obstacle to give fair warnings to the motorist.
With respect to helmets, HRS 291C-150 states that “No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a bicycle upon a street, bikeway, or any other public property unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet [that meets national standards].
Why should you wear a helmet? Well, I can tell you from personal experience that I would not be here today if I was not wearing a helmet on the day I crashed my bicycle. My tire hit a hidden object on the road and in a micro-second I was on the ground. I wasn’t going fast but the impact was so forceful that my helmet split in half. That could have been my head. Needless to say, I did have a slight concussion, but it could have been much, much worse.
A friend of mine was off from work for nine months with a fractured skull after a fall because he refused to wear a helmet and wanted to feel the wind in his hair. After recovering he still refused to wear a helmet, but that’s his choice. Actually, he was lucky to be alive.
I would strongly recommend that anyone who rides a bicycle, even if it’s only down the street or on the bike path, to wear a helmet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen parents with their children riding together like momma bear, poppa bear and little baby bear, and the only one wearing a helmet is little baby bear.
Don’t get me wrong, bicycling is a great sport and a great way to keep the pounds off, but like everything else, you have to be safe, and purchasing a helmet every couple of years is the best investment you’ll ever make. Your head is certainly worth $50.
And finally, wearing bright colored clothing is a must: Bright yellow, white, orange and any other color that brings attention to you will help the day-dreaming driver see you better. A vest with reflective material is the best of all, including lights when the sun goes down.
Q: Dear Chief Perry
Thank you for your calm and thoughtful response to the burial situation at Naue. I was told that the police had photographed and videotaped all those who assembled Tuesday morning. I was also told that some First Amendment cases forbid police from such actions as they could chill free speech. Could you please educate us about KPD's practice of photographing demonstrators?
A: Aloha Joan. Basically, if police are situated in an area open to the public, say on Rice Street or Alealea Road, we have the same rights as citizens to photograph and/or videotape the surroundings. But, there are certain expectations to privacy. For example, we can't videotape someone in their living room from the street, nor can we videotape someone in a public restroom. However, if you are on public domain like we were on Alealea Road, you temporarily relinquish that expectation of privacy. It’s similar to celebrities who get bombarded by paparazzi when in a public area.
With respect to taking pictures and videotaping the scene and people, remember that most were situated on public property. What about those individuals on private property? As law enforcement officers we are mandated/obligated to record the events of a potential crime if this could lead to a civil and/or criminal trial. The recording of an event affords the jury a true depiction of the events as it unfolded when presented in court. As an example, who could dispute the Rodney King beating seen on video? And as you already know, the accurate recordation of events is for the protection of citizens as well as the police to refute false or untruthful allegations.
For your information, in this situation, the 4th Amendment, Search and Seizure restrictions related to both the "Open" and "Plain" view doctrines do not apply because this was not a search. And with respect to our State Constitution, we did not invade anyone’s privacy.
Hope this helps...Chief Perry
Dear Chief Perry,
On March 4, 2014, a fatality
occurred that required the closure of Kuhio Highway in Kilauea at mile marker 21
for about six hours. Why can’t police clear the scene faster? Don’t you know
that people missed their flights, and couldn’t get home? Kauai deserves better
service than this.
have addressed this concern over the past years, and we have improved our
processing of scenes, but in some cases, due to the complexity of the event,
more time is required.
Below is an explanation I gave to a similar question about 5 years ago; and it
holds true today. Also, until the State and/or County build alternate by-pass
routes, communities will continue to face delays:
has been an on-going concern and I would venture to say that most jurisdictions
are wrestling with the same issue. Early in my career I was a supervisor of a
vehicle homicide team in Honolulu. Basically, the reason why roads are shutdown
is to do a complete and thorough investigation. When these cases involve death
or very serious bodily injury, police are mandated to treat the area as a crime
scene. And as you know, these types of cases may be confined to a specific
location, or stretch out for several miles (the longest crime scene I remember
was about 6 miles long).
not bore you with the complexities that are essential for this type of
investigation, but I will tell you that our officers are highly trained in
vehicle dynamics, accident reconstruction, crush analysis, recognizing induced
versus contact damages, scale diagrams of the scene, speed calculations by
determining coefficient of friction on the road surface, and the rest, not to
mention information required of the injured parties, deceased person(s),
witnesses, and suspect(s).
cases, the victims and their families rely on the police to bring individuals
who are responsible to justice. And frankly they deserve nothing less, because
we, the police, are speaking for the victim, whose voice was silenced through
investigators are very aware of the need to reopen the roadways as soon as
possible and I can assure you that they are doing their very best to expedite
the investigation. In addition, we continually explore more efficient methods to
speed up the process so that the inconvenience to the public is
last thing I would want to do is to explain to the victim’s family that the
reason for doing an incomplete investigation is because we had to reopen the
crime scene prematurely. I know that you would agree with me, that on top of the
grief the family is already experiencing, we, as a community, do not want to add
a second injury.
Dear Chief Perry,
Q: Recently there have been shooting incidents in schools, private
companies, and other public venues where people are the most vulnerable. What is
going on, and how do we keep safe?
A: It is very difficult to assess what motivates an individual to
commit such an act of violence. Historically we are familiar with the Xerox
shooting on November 2, 1999. But more recently the Sandy Hook massacre
involving elementary school children has brought home the fact that no place is
sacred or completely safe from individuals with malice in their
For the past few years, the average active shooter incident
was 5-15 per year, but experts predict an increase of 20-25 incidents
So what do you do as a
private citizen or government employee?
There are certain things you
should be made aware of, and questions you should ask so that you have a better
chance for survival. First of all, you must prepare for the worse case
scenario. While not inclusive, here are some considerations:
Within the organization, what safety measures or policies have
been established to ensure your safety, and the safety of others?
Are these policies practiced? Do you have evacuation
Is there an escape plan?
Are there dangerous choke points (meaning converging areas) that
have been identified?
Is there a designated safe-room to barricade until help
Other preventive measures
may be implemented to deter or at least minimize the risk to employees of
government and/or private sector. As an example, consideration could be given to
the hiring of security personnel and installation of a metal detector to
preclude the possibility of firearms or other weapons entering into the
Hand-held metal detection
wands may also be an option because they are less intrusive than a
I can assure you that in
hostage situations and shootings of this nature, our Specialized Services Team
are trained to respond appropriately to secure and if necessary, to neutralize
While we will do everything
in our power to keep you out of harm's way, you must, however, take
responsibility for your own safety until we are able to respond.
Remember that the most
dangerous thoughts are not that of the criminal—because their reality is
distorted—it is instead the victim’s mindset of complacency believing that
something as heinous as a shooting won’t happen here, and it won’t happen to
For additional information
please view the link on our website related to active shooters.