Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says there will be no more nightly driving restrictions on Oahu after testing out those restrictions over the Easter weekend.
Over the three-day weekend, drivers were told to keep off roads between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. in what the city called a “curfew.” Caldwell previously said the mandate was to limit large gatherings over the holiday weekend.
On Thursday, Caldwell said the city might extend the restrictions through April 30. But the mayor decided against that after police weren’t called to enforce any large gatherings over the weekend.
“We’ve concluded we won’t do this in the future,” Caldwell said during an afternoon press conference. “It’s served its purpose.”
Over the weekend, Oahu residents were prohibited from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they were going to work, to pick up medicine, or going to the hospital because of an emergency.
But Ballard said that police citations and arrests made over the weekend were not tied directly to the curfew. Outside of limiting large gatherings, Ballard and Caldwell provided little insight into why they decided to implement the restrictions in the first place.
When asked about the underlying data the city and police used to make the decision to impose the restrictions, Ballard just said they thought it would be a busy holiday.
“That’s the main reason we chose this weekend: it’s just to remind people this isn’t the time to celebrate, it’s a time to hunker down,” Ballard said.
She said officials chose the hours — 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. — based on their own thinking that 11 p.m. was after markets closed and 5 a.m. was generally before many people were up and on the roads anyway.
On Thursday after the restrictions were announced, a spokesman for Caldwell said the city was reviewing recommendations made by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in regards to the curfew.
But the CDC does not have any guidance on curfews and leaves those decisions up to the states, a CDC spokesman said Monday.
Caldwell said at the press conference that he did not contact the state Department of Health before imposing the restrictions. DOH Director Bruce Anderson said at a press conference Thursday that anything that keeps people from gathering could be a step in the right direction.
Caldwell said he hasn’t seen any public health mandates to warrant the driving restrictions, but said they may have been helpful on Kauai.
Kauai County has been under a nightly curfew since March 18. That curfew — which requires people to stay at home, not just not drive — is in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell