Over 7,000 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.
Over 60 schools on four islands will participate in “Stop If You Love Me” Week from February 10-14 (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, and 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 30,000 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 Farrington High School will sign wave in front of their Kalihi campus on Wednesday, February 19 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.
“In 2019, there were 108 traffic fatalities in Hawaii,” said Jan Meeker of the DOE’s DTSEP. “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,” 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.”
Participating “Stop If You Love Me” Schools Statewide:
August Ahrens Elementary
Enchanted Lake Elementary
Fort Shafter Elementary
Kamaile Academy PCS
Puu Kukui Elementary