Maui News

“Stop If You Love Me”: Hawaiʻi Students Call For End To Distracted Driving

February 5, 2016, 12:37 PM HST
* Updated February 5, 12:39 PM
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"Stop If You Love Me." Maui Now graphic.

“Stop If You Love Me.” Maui Now graphic.

A statewide traffic safety campaign called “Stop If You Love Me” is being launched at schools across the state.

The campaign promotes safe driving among youth by teaching them about the dangers of texting, speeding, and drowsy driving.

As part of the kick off, Maui High School hosts a school-wide assembly today in which national experts will discuss the dangers of distracted driving.

The “Stop If You Love Me” campaign officially runs Monday to Friday, February 8-12 and is sponsored by Hawaiʻi State Driver Education Program, DTRIC Insurance, and Par Hawaiʻi.

Thirty-four schools on four islands have committed to participate in the campaign including Maui’s Lihikai Elementary, Baldwin High and Maui High.

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During the campaign, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education’s Driver Education Program will work with student advocates to push drivers and passengers to eliminate dangerous driving behaviors, such as cell phone use, texting, road rage and speeding, and to also educate young people about the risks those behaviors present.

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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.

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

“Although the potential problems caused by distracted and risky driving are well known, we still desperately need to encourage drivers and passengers to be mindful while in their cars,” said Jan Meeker of the DOE’s Driver Education Program. “This year 770 student advocates will be reaching out to more than 31,000 thousand peers, teachers and parents with this message.”

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“We are thrilled to be a partner in this very important initiative, and look forward to seeing the campaign continue to grow and evolve, providing a great public service that affects us all in some way,” said Michele Saito, DTRIC president. “With more cars on the road each year, driver safety is increasingly important, and we can’t stress enough the need for all of us to drive with Aloha.”

“We have been a supporter of safe driving for teens for more than 25 years,” said Jim Yates, president of Par Hawaiʻi, which operates the larger of the state’s two refineries, logistics operations, and a statewide network of about 100 Tesoro and 76 branded retail gasoline stations. “We’re glad to be continuing our partnership with the Department of Education and DTRIC to continue to address dangers of distracted driving in Hawaiʻi.”

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