Police Chief Yabuta addresses graduation safety

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Photo by Dylan Godsey

A roadside memorial on Haleakalā Highway serves as a reminder of how quickly a car can become a deadly weapon. Be safe this graduation season.

By Dylan Godsey, sports co-editor

Maui Police Department’s Chief of Police Gary Yabuta took some time to do a Q and A with Ka Leo O Nā Koa about graduation safety for this 2012 graduation season.

Q: Looking to this upcoming graduation season of parties and celebrations, what advice do you have to both graduating students and their families and friends about staying safe?

A: This should be the happiest moment of a  high school graduate’s life.  Tragically, young adults fail to realize that they are not invincible to motor vehicle accidents that result in injuries and even deaths.  Please celebrate without muddling your minds with alcohol and live to see your dreams fulfilled.

Q: What is the most common crime linked with graduation parties?

A: Disorderly conduct, underage drinking and unsafe driving. Violence has also been associated with high school graduation behavior.

Q:Do you have any tips for parents in regards to keeping their children’s parties drug and alcohol free?

A: Don’t ignore talking to your children about the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse. Parents and their children must develop a trust, whereby a son or a daughter will never hesitate to ask for help from their parents.

Q: Do you have anything to say to the graduating class of 2012?

A: Congratulations and prepare yourselves for making a difference in our community and in our world. We all are fortunate to be part of Maui-the most beautiful place in the world. Do not stay insulated in our encapsulated island paradise, and understand that people in other countries are now fighting for the same freedom, democracy and opportunities that only we Americans are privileged to have at the moment.