Ask The Mayor

Q: With respect to vehicles with tinted windows, how can Maui Police Department officers ensure that laws are being followed, specifically: 1) seat belts are properly placed? and 2) cellphones are hands-free?

A: With regard to enforcing seat belt or cellphone violations, the officer should be certain that the violation occurred or is occurring at the time of the traffic stop. Window tint does not always prohibit officers from observing violations of the seat belt or cellphone law. If a vehicle’s tint is dark and prohibits an officer from seeing the person inside the vehicle, the tint is darker than allowed by law. Officers would then do a traffic stop for the tint and use a tint meter to determine how dark the tint is on the vehicle. If a violation occurs, the officer can issue a citation for dark tint. No tint shall have a light transmittance of less than 35 percent for all front seat driver and passenger windows. For vans, minivans, trucks or buses, there is no limit on the windows to the rear of the driver provided they are equipped with rearview mirrors on both sides. Also, tint may not encroach upon the AS-1 line on the front windshield. State statutes: 291-21.5 Regulation of motor vehicle sun screening devices ($287 operator fine / $537 installer fine); 291-11.6 Mandatory use of seat belts ($92 fine). Maui County Code: 10.52.260 Mobile electronic devices ($97 fine). To read the laws online, visit www.capitol.hawaii.gov and www.mauicounty.gov/laws.

Q: What is the status of plans to repave or resurface the stretches of Kamehameha, Wakea and Papa avenues in Kahului that need major reconstructive work? These heavily traveled routes are in bad shape in many places. Pothole repair won’t correct the problems – what is needed is complete repaving in these areas.

A: These are all federally funded projects that are in design or have recently been sent to bid. Their status: Kamehameha Avenue (Puunene to Papa avenues), Hina Avenue (Wakea Avenue to Niihau Street and Molokai Akau to Ani streets) and Wakea Avenue (Kaahumanu to Puunene avenues), bids recently opened with construction expected to start at the end of this year/early next year; Wells Street, Wakea Avenue (Puunene Avenue to Hana Highway) and Papa Avenue (Kaahumanu to Puunene avenues), expecting to advertise for bids by the end of this year with construction slated to begin within the first half of next year.

Q: Every so often when driving at night I notice a street light that has burned out. Who should I call to report this?

A: You should call Maui Electric Co., which maintains the street lights. Its 24-hour number for trouble calls is 871-7777.