HONOLULU (KHON2) — In the wake of recent traffic fatalities, the Department of Education’s driver and traffic safety education program hosted its annual Traffic Safety Fair at Aloha Stadium’s lower parking lot.

Over 200 people attended the event, with the goal of educating the public on safe driving practices and bringing awareness to the rise in traffic fatalities.

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Eight of the 14 traffic fatalities in the past eight weeks were believed to be due to speeding.

Former Maui Police Traffic Commander Lt. William Hankins, stressed the importance of controlling one’s speed when driving and said “If you increase your speed, you have less time to react.”

Attendees were able to test their reaction time in a controlled environment, driving 20 miles per hour and turning the opposite direction of a flashing light, aiming to avoid hitting a cone.

The man who designed the course warned attendees of the dangers of distracted or impaired driving, citing that at 60 miles per hour, it could take “a full length of a football field” to stop a vehicle in time.

Janice Meeker-Sevilla, a driver’s education resource teacher, emphasized the importance of parental involvement and said “We’ve come to realize the behavior of our teen drivers, [patterns] after what they see their parents do all these years growing up.”

The fair was held in collaboration with DTRIC Insurance and Par Hawaii and is part of ongoing efforts to bring awareness to safe driving practices and reduce traffic fatalities.

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Admission was free and open to the public.