HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Melanie Yamaguchi
Police officers and more than 200 community members lined the corner of King and Bishop Streets Friday waving signs and handing out pamphlets to encourage people to drive safely.
The third annual "Project Save our Streets," a joint effort between the Honolulu Police Department and Farmers Insurance Hawaii, sought to remind drivers to pay attention to pedestrians, follow speed limits and avoid driving distractions.
"Basically we want everybody to go where they have to go, to and from, safely," Police Chief Louis Kealoha said.
In 2012, traffic fatalities on Oahu increased 10 percent over the previous year, according to HPD statistics. Of the 57 traffic fatalities in 2012, 28 involved speeding, an increase of 75 percent over the previous year.
"That's why we're out here, reminding drivers to slow down and give themselves plenty of time to get to their destination," said Wenli Lin, director of marketing for Farmers Insurance Hawaii.
In 2002, Farmers Insurance Hawaii and HPD created the "Hot Spots Traffic Safety" program in response to traffic accidents caused by dangerous driving habits.
Kealoha said out of 12,000 local police departments across the nation, the Honolulu Police Department is the 20th largest.
"As large as we are, we cannot do this by ourselves," he said. "We need the cooperation from both public and private partnerships. We need cooperation from the drivers and pedestrians and everybody together can make this the safest place to live, work and play."