The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) driver and traffic safety education program, in collaboration with DTRIC Insurance and Par Hawaii, will be holding the HIDOE Traffic Safety Fair at the Aloha Stadium lower parking lot on Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
The event will be dedicated to the memory of McKinley High School student Sara Yara who was fatally struck Feb. 15 by a hit-and-run driver while in a crosswalk on her way to school.
“Even one fatality or one injury is too many,” said Jan Meeker-Sevilla, HIDOE driver and traffic safety education program resource teacher. “We want to empower drivers and prospective drivers of all ages with information on practical actions they can take to prevent injuries and fatalities. Whether they are a new driver or someone who has been driving for years, there is always something new to learn.”
The Traffic Safety Fair will consist of 20 different experiences including a dozen exhibitors and eight learning stations that will enable people to experience what it is like to see with a brain concussion, sleep deprivation, or impairment from alcohol or cannabis. High school drivers with an instructional permit or provisional driver’s licenses accompanied by a parent will be able to participate in “Operation Driver Excellence,” consisting of four obstacle courses that will put their safe driving skills to the test.
There will be exhibits from DTRIC Insurance, Par Hawaii, the Honolulu Police Department (HPD), MADD Hawaii, Sports Car Clubs of America, Hawaii Bicycling League, Legacy of Life, Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children and Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition, The Queen’s Medical Center, U-Haul, TyREDD, and others.
Yara’s mother, Chevy Saniatan, will briefly share about her daughter and stress the importance of safe driving to high school student drivers and their parents at the event at 8:45 a.m. Other guest speakers at the HIDOE Traffic Safety Fair include:
● 9:20 a.m.: HPD Sgt. Nathan O’Sullivan, Honolulu Traffic Division, will speak on traffic safety practices for teen drivers and parents.
● 10:10 a.m: Kerrie Warne, founder of TyREDD (Tyler Raising Education for Drowsy Driving), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the dangers of sleep deprivation and driving while tired to those of all ages. Warne lost her son Tyler as a result of a drowsy driving accident.
● 11 a.m.: Theresa Paulette, victim services specialist with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Hawaii, will share about the loss of her 15-year-old son who was riding his moped four blocks from home in Kaneohe to a driver with multiple DUI arrests.
● 12 p.m.: Jim Warneck, senior claims examiner at DTRIC Insurance and Candace Montgomery, a retired HPD detective and now a HIDOE driver education instructor, will detail steps to take if you are in a collision.
For more information about the DOE Traffic Safety Fair, visit www.dtric.com/operation-driver-excellence/.