Statewide “Stop If You Love Me” Campaign Next Week Calls For End To Dangerous and Distracted Driving
Elementary, middle and high school public school students statewide will be going virtual this year with their annual “Stop If You Love Me” campaign to urge drivers and passengers to reduce risky behaviors while on the road.
Twenty-one schools on four islands will participate in “Stop If You Love Me” Week running from February 15-19 (see list of participating schools below). The “Stop If You Love Me” campaign is sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) Driver and Traffic Safety Education Program (DTSEP), DTRIC Insurance, and Par Hawaii.
The student-led campaign encourages 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.
During the week-long safety campaign, the DOE DTSEP works with student advocates through various activities at their schools. These youth advocates will address the topic of dangerous driving habits with fellow students, reinforcing that such behaviors put the lives of others and themselves at risk. While the usual student traffic safety events will not take place this year because of distance learning and social distancing measures currently in place, schools will use virtual and other creative ways to get the traffic safety message across.
“While this year’s traffic safety campaign will be different with the current social distancing measures in place, the ultimate goal of keeping everyone safe on our roadways remains the same,” said Jan Meeker of the DOE’s DTSEP. “Students and faculty are being even more creative this year to get the safety message out via social media and other safe school activities.”
In 2020, there were 86 traffic fatalities in Hawaii, compared to 108 the previous year. Despite the decrease in annual traffic deaths, campaign organizers want to remind everyone to be mindful of safe driving habits to continue this positive trend.
“Eighty-six deaths are still 86 too many in our local community,” said DTRIC Insurance President and CEO Michele Saito. “Despite the fact that fewer vehicles were on the road during the height of the pandemic, we saw more severe collisions. With traffic gradually picking up, we anticipate that auto insurance claims will also rise. So we want to continue to encourage drivers to “Drive Aloha” and be aware of our keiki, as well as help build awareness of traffic safety issues at a young age.”
“This campaign is a timely, annual reminder to both students and parents to make safe driving a priority. If we focus on protecting one another on the road by practicing good driving skills and situational awareness, we all do our part,” said Eric Wright, senior vice president and lead executive 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. “For more than two decades, we have been proud supporters of teaching the fundamentals of safe driving to young adults. Par Hawaii is honored to partner with the Department of Education and DTRIC Insurance on this important safety initiative.”
About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is among the largest U.S. school districts and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. To learn more, visit www.HawaiiPublicSchools.org.
About DTRIC Insurance Company, Limited
Established in 1992, DTRIC Insurance Company, Limited. offers personal lines of insurance including auto, homeowners, renters, and umbrella policies. It also provides a wide range of commercial lines of insurance including: general liability, property, and workers’ compensation. DTRIC is committed to providing its policyholders and agency partners with innovative, value-added insurance products and services, exclusive to the state of Hawaii, enabling one-on-one attention and personalized service. DTRIC is a member of Japan’s largest insurance holding company MS&AD Insurance Group. Learn more at www.dtric.com.
About Par Hawaii
Par Hawaii, the state’s leading provider of petroleum products and transportation fuels, is headquartered in Honolulu and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Houston, Texas-based Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. Par Hawaii owns the state’s only operating petroleum refinery with a production capacity of 148,000 barrels per day of product in Kapolei, Oahu, distributes fuels via pipelines on Oahu and barges to all major harbors in the state, markets fuels through a network of 76 and Hele retail stations throughout Hawaii, and operates the nomnom convenience stores. Visit www.ParHawaii.com.
Participating “Stop If You Love Me” Schools Statewide:
- Aiea Elementary
- Ewa Elementary
- Fern Elementary
- Holomua Elementary
- Kaimiloa Elementary
- Kainalu Elementary
- Kuhio Elementary
- Mokulele Elementary
- Dole Middle
- Aiea High
- Kalaheo High
- Mililani High
- Moanalua High
- Radford High
- Hilo High
- Konawaena High
- Pahoa High
- Lihikai Elementary
- Baldwin High
- Maui High
- Kauai High
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