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News Release

Thursday, March 11, 2010

FARMERS HAWAII LAUNCHES FIRST HOT SPOTS TRAFFIC SAFETY EVENT IN HILO
Waiakea School Students Remind Drivers to Slow Down

With many students walking to school or being dropped off at busy intersections during the morning traffic hour, Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees joined with the Waiakea Intermediate School community to remind drivers to slow down for students on their way to school.

Farmers Insurance Hawaii held a Hot Spots community sign-waving event in front of Waiakea Intermediate School this morning. Along with students, teachers and parents at the school, the East Hawaii Community Policing Team was also on hand to encourage safe driving habits through a morning of sign-waving, activities and safety events.

The event marked the first community service project in Hilo 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 that the speed limit in school zones is 25 miles per hour.

"The Hot Spots traffic safety program was started eight years ago to help make our streets safer for our keiki," said Michele Saito, President of Farmers Insurance Hawaii. "We are proud to bring the first Neighbor Island Hot Spots under the Farmers Insurance Hawaii name to the Hilo community and to partner with the Waiakea school community to bring traffic safety issues to the forefront."

Vanessa Carlson, Educational Assistant, Counseling Center, at Waiakea Intermediate School, added that safety is an important priority for the school community. "The morning rush hour is a busy time on our streets and a most important time to watch out for students walking to school. We want to remind drivers that they need to pay attention to their surroundings and to students crossing streets near schools."

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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