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News Release

Thursday, June 23, 2011

TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS AND FATALITIES PROMPT COMMUNITY SAFETY AWARENESS EVENT

The Honolulu Police Department was joined by Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees, along with Moiliili Community Center and community groups, at the intersection of South King Street and University Avenue today, to remind drivers to obey speed limits, avoid driving distractions and watch out for pedestrians crossing streets.

More than 50 people participated in the traffic safety event to highlight the need to drive safely and cautiously, especially in light of the recent history of accidents and fatalities at the congested intersection.

Over the past three years, a pedestrian fatality and two fatal accidents involving a moped and a bicycle have unfortunately marked the intersection of South King Street and University Avenue. The area has also been the site of eight pedestrian accidents involving injuries since 2004.

Honolulu Police officers from District 7 Community Policing and Michele Saito, President of Farmers Insurance Hawaii, led a team of community members at the sign waving event. Signs urged drivers to follow speed limits, avoid driving distractions such as talking on cell phones, and to watch out for pedestrians.

Farmers Hawaii President Michele Saito said that the traffic safety event is part of the company's Hot Spots program, which identifies dangerous traffic areas statewide and in school zones and rallies local communities to urge drivers to obey traffic laws and watch out for pedestrians.

"Paying attention is a critical part of traffic safety, whether you are a driver or a pedestrian," Saito said. "Partnering with HPD and community groups, we want to remind people of the importance of being aware of your surroundings on busy city streets and driving with caution to help keep our streets safer for everyone."

HPD officers from District 7 Community Policing reminded drivers to pay special attention to midblock crosswalks as it's more difficult to see pedestrians without having the aid of traffic signals.

The Farmers Insurance Hot Spots program was started in 2002 in response to increased accidents and fatalities due to speeding. Schools or concerned community members interested in holding a Hot Spots event in their neighborhood should contact the Farmers Insurance Community Relations Department 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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