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News Release

August 16, 2012

FARMERS INSURANCE HAWAII AND CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL PARTNER TOGETHER FOR "BACK TO SCHOOL" HOT SPOTS TRAFFIC SAFETY EVENT

School is back in session and Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees and Central Middle School students took to the streets this morning and held a Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots traffic safety event to remind drivers to slow down in school zones and be mindful of keiki walking to school. The intersection of Queen Emma Street at Vineyard Boulevard has a history of near misses and pedestrian accidents. In 2010, two students from Central Middle School were seriously injured when they were hit by a car while crossing this intersection before school.

August is Pedestrian Safety Month, and the intersection of Queen Emma Street at Vineyard Boulevard is one of Oahu's 13 areas of concern for pedestrian safety according to the State Department of Transportation Pedestrian Master Plan. The study found that the area of Queen Emma and Vineyard Boulevard experiences high levels of pedestrian traffic from the two surrounding schools, nearby senior housing, and downtown businesses. Most accidents in this area are due to turning vehicles not yielding to pedestrians crossing Vineyard Boulevard.

More than 50 students, teachers, and community members joined with Farmers Hawaii employees and Honolulu Police Department District 1 Community Policing officers to raise awareness that drivers need to watch for students crossing the streets on the way to school.

According to Wenli Lin, Farmers Insurance Hawaii Director of Marketing, paying attention in this area is critical during rush hour. "Central Middle School is located along a major traffic thoroughfare with cars trying to get into or out of downtown, delivery trucks making stops, and children being dropped off or walking to school," Lin said. She added that with the start of the new school year, the traffic congestion in the area has worsened.

Cindy Yun-Kim, principal of Central Middle School, noted that this morning's Hot Spots event helped to send a strong reminder to drivers to watch out for students crossing streets near schools.

"We constantly need to remind drivers and students to pay attention, and we sincerely appreciate Farmers Insurance Hawaii taking the initiative to hold a Hot Spots traffic safety awareness event with our school," Yun-Kim said.

This awareness event was a part of a month long traffic safety initiative for Pedestrian Safety Month. Farmers Hawaii has partnered with the Department of Transportation Walk Wise Hawaii public education program to raise awareness around dangerous intersections and streets designated by the Statewide Pedestrian Safety Master Plan.

Today's event is the 70th Hot Spots traffic safety awareness event that Farmers Hawaii has held throughout the state over the past ten years. The Hot Spots Traffic Safety Program was created in 2002 in response to growing public safety concerns of speeding in school zones. Schools or concerned community members interested in holding a Hot Spots Traffic Safety event in their neighborhood should contact Farmers Hawaii at 808-544-3988.

Farmers Insurance Hawaii Family of Companies is a member company of Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, the third largest personal lines insurance provider in the country. Farmers Insurance Hawaii planted its roots in Hawaii in 1955 when Hawaii Insurance Consultants was founded to provide affordable insurance for Hawaii's union and plantation workers. Today, the Farmers Insurance Hawaii Family of Companies is a full-service insurance company, offering commercial and personal lines of insurance, and includes Farmers Insurance Hawaii, Hawaii Insurance Consultants, American Pacific Insurance Company, Human Resources Solutions, and 50th State Risk Management Services. The company has 270 employees statewide and offices on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai.

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