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Statewide Campaign Calls For End To Dangerous, Distracted Driving

February 13, 2018, 12:18 PM HST · Updated February 13, 12:22 PM
Nikki Schenfeld · 3 Comments
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Last year’s sign-waving campaign at Dole Middle School in Kalihi. Photo Courtesy

Over 1,200 elementary, middle and high school students across the state will be urging drivers and passengers to reduce risky behaviors while on the road with the annual “Stop If You Love Me” campaign.

Nearly 40 schools on four islands will participate in the campaign from Feb. 12-16, 2018. On Maui, Lihikai Elementary, ʻĪao Intermediate, Kalama Intermediate, Lahaina Intermediate, Maui Waena Intermediate, St. Anthony Intermediate, and Baldwin High will participate.

During the safety campaign, the DOE Driver Education Program will work with students to encourage drivers and passengers to eliminate dangerous driving behaviors such as cell phone use, texting, driving intoxicated, road rage and speeding, lack of seat belt use, distractions by passengers, and to also educate young people about the risks those behaviors present.

“Two groups that influence a young person’s driving habits are their parents and their peers,” said Jan Meeker of the DOE’s Driver Education Program. “Each year, student advocates reach thousands of their family members and classmates with the safe driving message, and we hope to reinforce their call again this year.”

Through various activities at their schools, youth advocates will address the topic of dangerous driving habits with fellow students, reinforcing that such behavior risks the lives of those they love, including themselves.

“The dangers of distracted and risky driving are well-known, and we need to encourage drivers and passengers to be mindful of that, especially with children riding with them in their vehicles or who walk and bike along our streets,” said DTRIC president and CEO Michele Saito. “DTRIC is honored to be a partner in this very important initiative. We can’t stress enough the message for all of us to Drive Aloha.”

In addition to spreading messages on driver, passenger, pedestrian, and bicycle safety, the students will distribute more than 25,000 campaign items, host presentations and sign waving events, and encourage parents to sign a pledge to eliminate dangerous behaviors.

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The “Stop If You Love Me” campaign is sponsored by Hawaiʻi State Department of Education’s Driver Education Program, DTRIC Insurance, and Par Hawaiʻi.

Nikki Schenfeld
Nikki joined the Maui Now team in 2016 as a writer/reporter. Originally from Chicago, she has had internships with CBS2 Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Chicago where she had the opportunity to interview some of Chicago's best athletes. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Maui in 2013.

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