The Hawaii Department of Education’s annual Hawaii Traffic Safety Fair, presented by Par Hawaii and DTRIC Insurance, will try to put the brakes on some of the state’s top safe-driving challenges—sleep deprivation, alcohol- and marijuana-impaired driving, and distracted driving. The Hawaii Traffic Safety Fair, staged at the lower parking lot of Aloha Stadium, will be on Saturday, April 13, from 8:30 am to 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
“We carefully selected and screened 25 quality exhibitors to provide valuable information on issues that pose the greatest risk to young teen drivers and their parents,” said Jan Meeker, who oversees the Department of Education’s driver education program. “Our Hawaii Traffic Safety Fair will feature the newest devices to improve safety on Hawaii’s roads and highways and give drivers of all ages a greater appreciation for safe driving.”
Highlights of the Hawaii Traffic Safety Fair will include exhibits that feature:
- Goggles that simulate the sleep deprivation, impairment from alcohol and marijuana and a brain concussion, presented by peer educators of Aiea High School, Farrington High School, and Moanalua High School;
- Safety devices and functions that are standard features in new vehicles, presented by New City Nissan and Toyota Hawaii;
- A demonstration of blind zones of private vehicles, presented by the Sports Car Clubs of America and blind zones of commercial vehicles, presented by Par Hawaii.
- The dangers of drowsy driving and the impact on driving performance, by TyREDD
- Pedestrian safety to share the responsibility for safe driving, by the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services;
- Hands-on learning station on the importance of tire safety to prevent crashes by Michelin North USA and Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake and Service;
- A free, downloadable app for parents that tracks driving progress and performance of their teen driver by Moneo Drive; and
- A virtual reality simulated driving experience designed to improve road safety by the Hawaii Department of Transportation.
Students and parents who want to experience a real driving challenge where the rubber meets the road are invited to bring their own vehicles to challenge themselves in Operation Driver Excellence, an extension of the Hawaii Traffic Safety Fair. Operation Driver Excellence consists of multiple driving courses designed to put their driving skills to the test.
The challenge includes a specially designed, multi-sensory distracted driving course that requires participants to text and drive as well as take a selfie photo while driving. The course also tests how well they respond to unexpected objects that cross their driving path. A collision avoidance course will show drivers how to best steer and brake to avoid an obstacle in the middle of simulated road, while underscoring the importance of keeping their intuitive reaction in check and understanding the limitations of their vehicles.
Teens with a permit, provisional or driver’s license and their parents may sign up for the Operation Drivers Excellence challenge, which begins at 9:45 am, by contacting the Driver and Traffic Safety Education office at (808) 305-9773.
“Over the past 25 years, we have seen technology-based distractions and other challenges emerge that have put all of us at greater risk as drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” said Jim Yates, president of Par Hawaii, which oversees a statewide network of nearly 100 Hele and 76 branded retail gasoline stations. “Through our ongoing partnership with the Department of Education and DTRIC, we’re making safe driving cool for teens and their parents to save lives and ensure safe driving is a top priority.”
“It’s all about putting Drive Aloha into action every moment we’re behind the wheel,” said Michele Saito, DTRIC president and CEO. “As the number of vehicles on our roads increase, it’s important for everyone, no matter what their age, to do their part to be safer drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”