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News Release

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FARMERS INSURANCE HOT SPOTS EVENT REMINDS DRIVERS TO SLOW DOWN
Student at Kawananakoa Middle School Hit in Area Last Month

Responding to the need to remind drivers to slow down in school zones after a Kawananakoa Middle School student was hit by a car in the Liliha area last month, Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees took to the streets today to remind drivers to slow down for young people on their way to school.

Farmers Insurance Hawaii joined with Kawananakoa Middle School students, teachers and parents at the school, along with the Honolulu Police Department's Community Policing Team, to encourage safe driving habits through a morning of sign-waving, activities and safety events.

The event marked the continued commitment to the community for Farmers Insurance Hawaii, which changed its name from AIG Hawaii on January 5. Armed with handmade signs and banners, more than 50 Farmers Hawaii staff members and the school community lined the sidewalks to alert drivers to watch out for children crossing the streets to school. Sign making materials for the students were donated by Farmers Insurance partner Education Works.

"The morning rush hour is a busy time on our streets and a most important time to watch out for students walking to school," said Michele Saito, President of Farmers Insurance Hawaii. "We are concerned anytime we hear of a pedestrian accident in the area and want to remind drivers that they need to pay attention to their surroundings and to students crossing streets near schools."

Saito added that there are also more students walking to school in 2010 due to higher school bus fares that went into effect in the New Year. The school bus fare is 75 cents for a one-way trip, up from 35 cents. The Department of Education also increased the distance that secondary school students must reside from school in order to qualify for public bus service, from 1 mile to 1 1/2 miles.

Farmers Insurance also distributed a traffic safety booklet produced by employees to all students as well as thank-you gifts to the Kawananakoa teachers and staff.

The Hot Spots Traffic Safety Program was created in 2002 in response to the growing public safety concerns caused by speeders. To date, more than 50 Hot Spots have been identified across the states. Schools or concerned community members interested in holding a Hot Spots event in their neighborhood should contact the Farmers Insurance Community Relations Department at 543-0411.

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