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News Release

February 10, 2012

KAPALAMA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS RALLY FOR SAFE DRIVING HABITS
Car Seat Check-Ups Highlight Traffic Safety Event

Two years ago a teacher from Kapalama Elementary School was hit in the crosswalk in front of the school by a car rushing to busy Likelike Highway during the morning rush hour. This school year there have been several near-miss accidents near the pick-up and drop-off zones with students on their way to school.

That's why Honolulu Police Department District 5 Community Policing and Traffic Division Officers were joined by more than 75 students and staff members along with Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees this morning, for a Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots sign-waving event. The traffic safety event served to remind drivers to obey speed limits, avoid driving distractions and watch out for pedestrians crossing streets.

The event included car seat checks for proper installation by HPD officers in the school parking lot, as well as an HPD traffic safety assembly and a demonstration by Farmers Hawaii of its Adventures in Traffic Safety computer-based safety program. The event was part of the Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots program, now celebrating its 10th anniversary of raising awareness for traffic and pedestrian safety statewide.

According to Michele Saito, President of Farmers Insurance Hawaii Operations, parents and drivers need to be aware of speed limits and laws in school zones during morning drop-off.

"Bernice Street near the entrance to Kapalama Elementary School is a very busy intersection, with drivers trying to get to Likelike Highway on their way to work," Saito said. "This is clearly an intersection where pedestrians and motorists alike need to pay close attention, slow down for pedestrians and avoid driving distractions."

Saito added that the fine for speeding in school zones is $297, and not yielding to pedestrians carries a fine of $130. The speed limit in school zones is 25 miles per hour.

"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."

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 Farmers Insurance Hawaii at 808-544-3988.

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