A group of students and teachers joined police and other community groups in a sign-waving demonstration Thursday morning at Lihikai Elementary School in Kahului.
The annual Drive Aloha event was organized by school facilitators and DTRIC Insurance in an effort to discourage bad community habits, particularly around school zones.
The statewide campaign hopes to curb distracted driving, including running red lights, jaywalking, speeding and cutting off other drivers.
Along with Lihikai Elementary students, Baldwin High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club, Maui County staff and the Maui Police Department’s Traffic Section also participated in the traffic safety campaign.
“Traffic collisions and pedestrian accidents are up from last year and we want to help reverse that trend through our Drive Aloha campaign,” said Michele Saito, president and CEO of DTRIC Insurance. “We all have a part in creating safer roadways across the islands, so it’s inspiring to have Maui’s keiki involved in our efforts to have everyone share the roads, be friendlier and be more aware of their surroundings, whether they’re driving, walking or riding a bike.”
Traffic accident statistics by the state Department of Transportation show there were 117 statewide fatalities in 2018 related to traffic accidents. Of that figure, 17 of those occurred on Maui last year: five were in motor vehicles at the time, seven involved pedestrians; and another five were while riding motorcycles or mopeds.
Drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and all commuters are urged to take the Drive Aloha pledge at www.drivealoha.com  to demonstrate their commitment to practicing safer and more courteous road habits.