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New distracted driving campaign targets students

More than 200 students took the pledge today to avoid distractions while on the road.

"Not to text and walk across the street or go near cars while texting," Sixth grader Maryn Gossien said.

She was one student that took part in today’s assembly. Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol visited Ferndale Elementary to talk about their newest campaign.

"It’s share the road, Arrive Alive," Caltrans District 1 Director Charlie Fielder said.

The campaign focuses on educating kids about the dangers of distractions while walking, biking and driving. Students took part in several activities, such as a watermelon drop to show how not wearing a helmet could have deadly consequences.

“When a child is involved in a collision or hit by a car it's really hard— even as a first responder to respond to those types of incidents,” Officer Matt Harvey said. “It's really sad, it impacts the whole community." 

Back in March, a Jacoby Creek student died after being hit by a car. Law enforcement said 14-year-old David Jain was texting while crossing J and Carson Streets in Eureka when he was struck. He died a day later.

“That was in Eureka and we're in Ferndale, so it's not that far away,” Seventh grader Maddy Walstrom said. “I think it could happen to anybody if they're not paying attention."

Other campaign efforts include commercials on the radio, Internet and movie theaters. Today’s event was a test run, Campaign organizers hope to go to other North Coast schools.