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Two mothers team up to spread the word on Distracted Awareness Month

Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 01:12:23-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Julie Festerling and Deborah Garcia are continuing their mission to educate people about the dangers of driving distracted.

"It proves to me that what Julie and I are doing is worthwhile," Garcia said.

She's talking about nearly a dozen schools that helping spread the word about distracted driving.

The issue hits home for Festerling and Garcia, in late 2019 they lost their children, Caitlin and Paul in an accident they believe was caused by a distracted driver.

"I want to make a lesson or a curriculum of some sort, and constantly use it with all the kids that come through my program," said Laurie Lindsay.

She teaches family and consumer sciences at Tortolita Middle School.

She said this cause offers her a lesson to teach children, one that they might already know from exposure.

"It starts from kids seeing what their parents are doing, it's a modeling thing," she said.

"We got to start giving them the right messages," said Bill Honer, a drivers ed. instructor at Mountain View High School.

He said he's already teaching students about the risks of driving distracted but the lesson is one that's best for them to learn earlier in their lives.

"Put your phone in the back seat, shut your phone off, put your phone in your pocket, shut it off."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the number of people being killed distracted driving accidents has steadily gone up.

Their research shows drivers between 16- and 24-years old are more likely to be holding a cell phone while driving.

Festerling said this cause isn't about putting it all on young drivers.

"It's great for kids to learn stuff in school and then take it home and share it with the parents."