County of Hawai`i - Traffic and Roadwork

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Reckless Driving

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Road Hazards

phone iconCall 935-3311 (Police)

Road Closure Requests

phone iconCall 961-2227 (Police Traffic Services)

State Highway & Roads Maintenance

phone iconCall 933-8878 (State Highways)

Out of order traffic light icon and text Did You Know?

Traffic signals and stop signs are considered emergency repairs. Please call 961-8341 between 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. After hours, please report to Police at 935-3311.

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Visitor Information

Welcome!

You've got your rental car, a road map and are all set to holoholo ka‘a (go for a drive). You're thinking about exploring off the beaten track. Our kapakahi (crooked) black roads are part of the island's charm so, before you grab the car keys and the camera, here are a few reminders to help you safely enjoy your kapakahi roads adventure.

Dirt road through forest

Traffic Division safety logo "Keep our community safe. Drive with aloha"

Roads Less Traveled

Driving on Our Kapakahi Roads
  • While these roads may be quaint, they are not deserted. Some provide the main throughfare to small communities, homes, B&B's, or favorite fishing spots. Watch for other vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, and animals (some of which can be big).
  • Is this a back road or a private driveway? They may look the same, but you don't want to end up in someone's back yard.
  • Be respectful of the folks and animals that live along the roadside.
  • Most of the kapakahi roads are narrow with little or no shoulders to pull off onto. A fender-bending ditch or stone wall may be hidden under that tropical vegetation growing beside the road.
  • Many are one lane with no center line; others widen and narrow at will. Always stay to the right.
  • Whee! You're winding up and down around blind curves on what may have once been a donkey cart trail. Those donkeys didn't travel very fast--you shouldn't either.
  • Some are steep. Save your brakes. You'll want to use low gear going up and down.
  • A few aren't paved or have more potholes than pavement. Be kind to the car.
  • Speed limits are not often posted. Nor will you find many caution or yield signs, but both are good driving practices.
  • Don't expect public facilities or gas stations along the way, and you may find areas without cell phone service or quick and easy access to emergency services.
  • A four-wheel drive vehicle is required on some roads (such as the road into Waipi‘o Valley and to the top of Mauna Kea) and this is the law!
  • Interested in exploring more of the Big Island of Hawai‘i?  Click on the Big Island Visitors Bureau website for http://www.bigisland.org/County seal and text "County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Traffic Division"
Enjoy!