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News Release

June 13, 2013

FARMERS HAWAII HOLDS TRAFFIC SAFETY AWARENESS EVENT DUE TO CONCERN OVER SPEEDING NEAR BUSY INTERSECTION

HONOLULU - Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees were joined by officers from the Honolulu Police Department Community Policing District 1 and community groups at the intersection of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard today, to remind drivers to obey speed limits and watch out for pedestrians crossing streets.

The Honolulu Police Department identified the area as having a problem with speeding. Leading up to the event, HPD placed speed wagons at Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard to build awareness and address the speeding issue that plagues the busy intersection. More than 40 volunteers participated in the traffic safety event to highlight the need to slow down and drive safely and cautiously, especially in light of the recent pedestrian fatality that occurred in the area in March.

"For the last few years, speeding has been the number one cause of traffic fatalities on Oahu’s roads," said Melanie Joseph, marketing manager for Farmers Insurance Hawaii. "According to the Honolulu Police Department in 2012, 43% of Oahu's traffic fatalities were caused by speeding, resulting in 28 deaths. Speed is the contributing factor to three times as many traffic fatalities as alcohol on Oahu's roads. Today's event is timely as summer tends to have an increase in traffic fatalities due to more people speeding, since there is less traffic congestion," said Joseph. "Through our partnership with HPD and community groups, we're reminding drivers of the importance of obeying posted speed limits and encouraging them to slow down to help keep our streets safer for everyone."

In addition to issues with speeding, there was also a pedestrian fatality in March that occurred in the Kapiolani and Ward area. The incident happened during the evening hours at the intersection of Kapiolani Boulevard and Kamakee Street, and the victim was not in a marked crosswalk when she was hit.

Drivers are reminded to slow down near crosswalks and pay extra attention during the evening hours as it is more difficult to see pedestrians. Pedestrians should also remember to always obey traffic laws, use the crosswalk, and look both ways before crossing. They are encouraged to wear light color or reflective clothing and reflective lights to be more visible to drivers at night.

The Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots traffic safety program encourages safe driving practices and promotes community awareness of traffic issues. The Hot Spots program was created in 2002 in response to traffic accidents caused by dangerous driving habits and speeding in school zones. Today's event is the 77th Hot Spots traffic safety event. Schools or concerned community members interested in holding a Hot Spots traffic safety event in their neighborhood should contact Farmers Insurance Hawaii at 808-544-3988.

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