East Hawaii News

Kea’au, Konawaena Assist in ‘STOP if You Love Me’ Campaign

February 9, 2015, 2:01 PM HST
* Updated February 9, 2:06 PM
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Two Big Island schools, Kea’au High School and Konawaena High School will be among 23 elementary, middle and high schools with student advocates participating in the “STOP if You Love Me” national campaign.

Students from the two high schools will be among 373 youth advocates across the state that will take part in the national campaign as the Hawai’i State Department of Education’s Driver Education Program asked the public to “STOP if You Love ME”  between Feb. 9 and Feb 13.

The campaign calls for safer driving, increased seat belt use, and the elimination of texting and other risky behaviors while in a vehicle.

Over 25,000 campaign items will be distributed by student advocates building up to Valentine’s Day. Students will also be armed with prevention messages, calling for safer passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists in hopes of stopping risky behaviors. They will share love and convey the message of choices. The love of each other and the love of self should be reason enough to reduce and eliminate these risky behaviors, according to campaign leaders.

“The students are really the ones behind this campaign,” Jan Meeker of the DOE’s Driver Education Program said. “There were 120 teens last year reaching 12,000 peers; that number has tripled this year as we continue to spread the message about smarter, safer choices while on our roads.”

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According to a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and National Students Against Destructive Decision, 91 percent of teens reported that they have seen their parents using a cellphone while driving. Fifty-nine percent of those same students witnessed their parents texting and driving.

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In Liberty Mutual’s study, 98 percent of teens surveyed admitted that they knew texting while driving was a distraction, however 86 percent admitted to using a cell phone while behind the wheel anyways. Forty-seven percent of teens who admitted that they never texted while driving still admitted to texting at a red light or at a stop sign.

The leading cause of death of young people is motor vehicle crashes, according to highway statistics.

Along with Kea’au High School and Konawaena High School, the following schools will be participating in “STOP if You Love Me” week state-wide: Aiea High, Alvah Scott Elementary, Baldwin High, Campbell High, Dole Middle, Iao Intermediate, Kaimuki High, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle, Kapaa High, Kauai High, Kekaulike High, Kihei Charter, Kula Elementary, Makakilo Elementary, Maui High, Moanalua High, Mokulele Elementary, Molokai High, Radford High, Waimea High and Waipahu High.

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