Maui News

Maui Students Win National Contest on Distracted Driving

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Pictured left to right: Kye Haina, Maile Sur, Daisy Draper, Dr. Charles Soma, Jaylin Kekiwi, Destinee Murray. Photo Credit,  Nagamine Photo Studio, Inc.

Pictured left to right: Kye Haina, Maile Sur, Daisy Draper, Dr. Charles Soma, Jaylin Kekiwi, Destinee Murray. Photo Credit, Nagamine Photo Studio, Inc.

By Wendy Osher

Students from Kamehameha High School on Maui won first place in the national “Decide to Drive” distracted driving awareness magazine contest.

The award comes as the nation observes distracted driving awareness month, and the Maui Police Department launches a five-day campaign of increased enforcement planned to run from April 10-15, 2014.

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Students Daisy Draper, Jaylin Kekiwi, Destinee Murray and Maile Sur were awarded with $1,000 checks each; and their teacher, Kye Haina was presented with a computer tablet prize package.

The magazine contest is part of the “Decide to Drive: A Student Advocacy Program,” sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, that encourages teens to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road while driving.

Decide to Drive magazine cover.  Image courtesy KS Maui.

Decide to Drive magazine cover. Image courtesy KS Maui.

Distracted driving includes such activities as texting, eating, talking on the phone, applying make-up and using mobile electronic devices while driving.

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As part of the contest, student teams were tasked with designing and writing a four-page magazine with eye-catching visuals, thought-provoking statistics, and persuasive essays, to warn their peers about the dangers of distracted driving.

The Maui teens were among the 400 teams and 1,200 students from around the nation that entered the competition.

Local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Charles Soma, reportedly presented checks to each of the students during a school presentation on Friday, April 4.

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Nationwide, 3,328 people were killed, and an estimated 421,000 people were injured in crashes in 2012 involving a distracted driver, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Maui police issued 198 citations so far this year, and 2,752 citations in 2013, for people using a hand held mobile electronic device while driving, according to data released by the Maui Police Department earlier this month.

According to information compiled by Kamehameha Schools Maui and released by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons-Harris Interactive survey, 94% of drivers believe that distracted driving is a problem in the US, and 89% within their own communities.

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