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News Release

August 15, 2013

FARMERS INSURANCE HAWAII AND KALIHI UKA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARTNER FOR PEDESTRIAN SAFETY MONTH HOT SPOTS TRAFFIC SAFETY EVENT

HONOLULU - August is Pedestrian Safety Month and Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees and Kalihi Uka Elementary School students took to the streets this morning and held a Hot Spots traffic safety event to help raise awareness for pedestrian safety. More than 40 students, teachers, and community members joined with Farmers Hawaii employees and Honolulu Police Department District 5 Community Policing to remind drivers to slow down in school zones and watch out for keiki walking to school.

"Kalihi Uka Elementary is located in a congested thoroughfare during the morning rush hour as drivers are trying to drop off students at school and make their way to Likelike Highway to go into town to work," said Melanie Joseph, marketing manager for Farmers Insurance Hawaii. "This has been a tragic year for pedestrian safety with an increase in fatalities. There have been 14 pedestrian fatalities so far this year on Oahu, compared to nine last year. Total traffic fatalities are also up with 38 fatalities on Oahu compared to 33 in 2012."

This stretch of Kalihi Street has a history of drivers speeding and illegal parking, a dangerous combination as illegal parking makes it more difficult to see students crossing the street. According to Joseph, paying attention in this area is critical during rush hour.

She also reminded drivers that the speed limit in front of school zones is 25 miles per hour and the fine for speeding in a school zone is $322.

Laura Ahn, principal of Kalihi Uka Elementary 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," Ahn said.

In addition to sign waving to raise awareness, Kalihi Uka students will be participating in Farmers Hawaii's Adventures in Traffic Safety online video game to help them be better pedestrians and to reinforce the pedestrian and vehicle passenger safety messages that Farmers Hawaii conveys as part of the Hot Spots program.

Adventures in Traffic Safety is a free online traffic safety program locally produced by Farmers Hawaii for elementary schools. Adventures in Traffic Safety is designed with age-appropriate interactive activities and quizzes for students in kindergarten through 6th grades. Students can play each year and learn new material, since the modules advance along with the students' grade level. The Web-based safety curriculum includes modules for crossing streets safely, correct seat belt usage, bicycle safety, knowing street signs and signals, obeying posted speed limits, and avoiding driving distractions.

Adventures in Traffic Safety was created to educate children at a young age about traffic safety to form good pedestrian and, eventually, good driving habits and practices. Schools interested in participating in Farmers Hawaii's Adventures in Traffic Safety can go to farmershotspots.com.

Today's event is the 79th Hot Spots traffic safety awareness event that Farmers Hawaii has held throughout the state over the past eleven 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.

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