Hawaii could soon start charging hikers for the cost of their own rescue

Posted by Jeff on Feb 27, 2021 @ 7:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments | Last change: February 24, 2021

Lawmakers in Hawaii are considering laws that would make some hikers pay for their own rescue if lost or endangered due to their own recklessness.

Senate Bill 700 could allow local governments to amortize search and rescue costs, which can be as high as $ 10,000. A second bill, SB 363, which also runs through the Senate, would go further and impose fines for illegal walking on closed paths and in private property.

Legislation, which mimics similar rules in several other states, including California, would penalize hikers who disregard warning signs, take different risks, or take different risks in their search for off the beaten track adventure.

Hawaii, which welcomes more than 10 million tourists annually and where tourism accounts for nearly a quarter of the economy, would send a strong message to visitors. At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant drop in tourism-related revenues, the troubled Hawaiian government hopes the bills will compensate taxpayers for costly bailouts and discourage irresponsible behavior that both tourists and residents risk also prompts their potential rescuers to do so.

If either bills pass, hikers who ignore no trespassing signs at the top of famous but unapproved trails like Red Sand Beach, which sits on private land on Maui’s breathtaking Hana Highway, may soon be risking more than her life.


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