by James Cave
Hawaii’s movement to increase bike safety awareness momentarily hit the brakes on Sunday, when a raging, allegedly drunk (or otherwise impaired) driver drove into three cyclists.
It was a fight that took place at the Haleiwa Metric Century Ride, a race held each year along Oahu’s north shore between Haiaka Bay Beach Park and Kahana Bay in honor of the late John B. Kelly, a past president of Hawaii Bicycling League and advocate for safer bicycling environments.
Five people were injured, including Chad Taniguchi, the Executive Director of the Hawaii Bicycling League, who was sent to a hospital with an ankle injury. Taniguchi told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the driver of the car, 22-year old Chevis Santiago, was “very aggressive and threatening” when Taniguchi passed by on a support vehicle.
Hawaii is 12th in the nation in commuters who bike (2.3%). Portland is first (6.1%), but bikers, car drivers, and officials across the nation are still seemingly perplexed about how to get everyone to share the road.
Although cars generally win the fights they get into with bicycles, Santiago and a passenger in his car were both arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault; Santiago was charged.