(HawaiiNewsNow) - Armed with signs, banners and enthusiastic sign waving, more than 75 students, Maui Police Department Officers, teachers, Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees and community members joined for a Hot Spots traffic safety rally this morning at Baldwin High School to remind drivers to slow down and watch out for students on their way to school.
Baldwin High School is located on Kaahumanu Avenue, which has been identified by the Highways Division Department of Transportation State of Hawaii's Statewide Pedestrian Master Plan as an area of concern for pedestrian safety in Maui County. The school is located on a busy traffic thoroughfare for morning rush hour drivers, and the safety event helped to heighten awareness of hazardous driving practices, including speeding, driving distractions such as using a cell phone, and pedestrian safety while crossing the street.
The traffic safety event was part of the Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots program, now in its 10th anniversary of raising awareness for pedestrian and traffic safety statewide. The Hot Spots traffic safety program rallies schools and local communities to obey traffic laws and to pay attention to students crossing busy streets on the way to school. Farmers Hawaii has held Hot Spots events at Kahului Elementary, Wailuku Elementary and Lihikai Elementary schools on Maui in previous years.
According to Wenli Lin, Vice President for Farmers Insurance Hawaii, drivers need to be aware of speed limits and pedestrians in this area. "Kaahumanu Avenue is a main thoroughfare for drivers going to and from Wailuku and Kahului. Drivers should slow down as the speed limit in a school zone is 25 mph. Pedestrians including students need to look both ways for vehicles before crossing the street and remember to always use the crosswalk," she said.
The fine for speeding in a school zone is $297, and not yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk or jaywalking carries fines of $130 each in Maui County.
The Farmers Insurance Hot Spots program was started in 2002 in response to increased accidents and fatalities due to speeding. Schools or concerned community members interested in holding a Hot Spots event in their neighborhood should contact Farmers Insurance Hawaii at 808-544-3988.