Maui News

Students Take a Stand to Reduce Risky Driving

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Thousands of elementary, middle and high school students statewide are urging drivers and passengers to reduce risky behaviors while on the road with the annual “Stop If You Love Me” campaign this week.

Over 60 schools on four islands are participating.

During the safety campaign, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Educationʻs Driver and Traffic Safety Education Program (DSTEP) works with student advocates to encourage drivers and passengers to eliminate dangerous behaviors while in their vehicles, including cell phone use, texting, driving intoxicated, road rage and speeding, lack of seatbelt use, and distractions by passengers.

Youth advocates will address the topic of dangerous driving habits with fellow students through various activities.


In an effort to raise awareness on driver, passenger, pedestrian, and bicycle safety, the students will distribute more than 30,000 campaign items, host presentations and sign waving events, and encourage students to sign a pledge to eliminate dangerous behaviors.


National speakers will also meet with selected public school students statewide to discuss the dangerous behavior such as speeding, texting while driving, and driving under the influence.

“In 2019, there were 108 traffic fatalities in Hawaiʻi,” DSTEP representative Jan Meeker said in a press release.

“This annual campaign is an important and timely reminder to both students and parents on driving and riding safely. Student advocates reach thousands of their family members and classmates with the safe driving message, and we are glad to provide an avenue for them to share these important messages again this year.”


As part of the “Stop If You Love Me” campaign, DTRIC Insurance and Par Hawaii are holding a contest for public school students statewide to encourage adult drivers to take the Drive Aloha pledge in a community effort to make Hawaii’s roads safer and friendlier.

The schools with the highest number of pledges will receive a $500 cash prize sponsored by DTRIC Insurance and Par Hawaii.

“With the recent tragic incidents on our roadways, we need to encourage drivers and passengers to be mindful of safe driving, especially with children who are riding with them in their vehicles or walking and biking along our streets,” DTRIC President Michele Saito said.

“We can’t stress enough the message for all of us to Drive Aloha.”

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