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Police remind motorists to drive safely in school zones

MEDIA RELEASE

The Traffic Services Section of the Hawai’i Police Department would like to encourage people to drive safely when approaching school zones. We know that these areas have a high number of young pedestrians that interact with vehicle traffic. We encourage all pedestrians to use the crosswalks and follow the directions of the School Crossing Guards at the schools. Adults can be great examples for children when they cross the roadways in a safe manner.

Recently we have been receiving an increased number of complaints of drivers speeding, using cell phones and failing to stop at posted crosswalks when School Crossing Guards are attending them. If a crosswalk has yellow flashing lights visible to drivers that is an indication to slow down and prepare to yield to pedestrians in the area. Crosswalks with no flashing lights may have brightly colored flags and or someone monitoring the pedestrian traffic. Many crosswalks don’t have additional safety measures in place, and it is our responsibility as drivers to be aware of pedestrians and particularly children in the area. Everyone should be advised that the Hawai’i Police Department will be monitoring these areas closely and issuing citations for violations they observe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said when driving to school make sure there’s a safe driver behind the wheel. Every ride begins with everyone wearing seat belts, using booster seats, or being properly secured in an appropriate car seat. Every child rides in the back seat; children in the front seat are 40 percent more likely to be injured in crashes.

From 2007 to 2016, there were 281 school- age children killed in school transportation-related crashes.  But we can help keep children safe. Discuss safety tips with children, model road safety behaviors, including always buckling up in the car, and following all the rules of the road every time you drive, ride or walk.

On the Big Island, we cherish our children and want them all to have a good education and opportunities to happy and prosperous. We can have a significant impact on those goals by doing our part. Drive with Aloha, slow down when approaching school zones, pay close attention to crosswalks and help the School Crossing Guards get children to school safely.

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