HONOLULU (February 7, 2019) – Hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students statewide will be urging drivers and passengers to reduce risky behaviors while on the road with the annual “Stop If You Love Me” campaign.
Twenty-two schools on four islands will participate in “Stop If You Love Me” Week from February 12 to 15 (see participating schools listed below). The “Stop If You Love Me” campaign is sponsored by Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) Driver and Traffic Safety Education Program (DTSEP), DTRIC Insurance, and Par Hawaii.
During the safety campaign, the DOE DTSEP 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, distractions by passengers. The campaign also educates students about the risks of these behaviors.
Through various activities at their schools, youth advocates will address the topic of dangerous driving habits with fellow students, reinforcing that such behavior puts the lives of others and themselves at risk. As a way to spread messages on driver, passenger, pedestrian, and bicycle safety, the students will distribute more than 20,000 campaign items, host presentations and sign waving events, and encourage students to sign a pledge to eliminate dangerous behaviors.
Among the events scheduled, students and faculty at Washington Middle School in McCully will sign wave in front of their campus on Thursday, February 14 between 7 and 8 a.m. to urge motorists to drive safely.
National speakers will also meet next week with selected public school students statewide to discuss the dangerous behavior such as speeding, texting while driving, and driving under the influence.
“With the high number of traffic fatalities last year and so far this year, this annual campaign is an important and timely reminder to both students and parents on driving and riding safely,” said Jan Meeker of the DOE’s DTSEP. “Each year during the campaign, 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.”
“After the recent 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,” said DTRIC President and CEO Michele Saito. “DTRIC is honored to be a partner again in this very important initiative. We can’t stress enough the message for all of us to Drive Aloha.”
“This annual campaign taps into the power of peer-to-peer influence among teens, and empowers students of all ages to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Everyone can make positive contribution to make our roads safer,” said Jim Yates, president of Par Hawaii, which operates the state’s only oil refinery, logistics operations, and a statewide network of about 100 Hele and 76 branded retail gasoline stations. “As a supporter of safe driving for teens for more than 25 years, we’re glad to be continuing our partnership with the Department of Education and DTRIC to address the dangers of distracted driving in Hawaii.”