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News Release

Friday, January 08, 2010

FARMERS HAWAII LAUNCHES HOT SPOTS EVENT TO ADDRESS INCREASED STUDENT TRAFFIC IN NEW YEAR
First Community Service Event For New Farmers Hawaii

Responding to the increase in students walking to school as a result of increased bus fares and route cutbacks announced in the New Year, Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees took to the streets today to remind drivers to slow down for keiki on their way to school.

Farmers Insurance Hawaii joined with Pauoa Elementary 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 first community service project for Farmers Insurance Hawaii, which changed its name from AIG Hawaii on January 5. Armed with handmade signs and banners, more than 75 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 Hawaii partner Education Works.

"With the start of the New Year and more pedestrian traffic on our streets, now is a perfect time to send a strong reminder to our community that we all need to watch for keiki crossing the streets in the morning," said Michele Saito, chief operating officer for Farmers Hawaii. "Farmers Hawaii employees are proud to continue their tradition of giving back to the community through events like our Hot Spots traffic safety program."

Higher school bus fares went into effect as Hawaii public school students returned from holiday break. 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 Hawaii also distributed a traffic safety booklet produced by the staff members to all students as well as a $500 donation to the school and thank-you gifts to the 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 Hawaii Community Relations Department at 543-0411.

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