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Published May 18, 2012, 10:33 PM

NO PHONE ZONE: Students Want Distracted Drivers to Drop the Cell

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Elementary students in Grand Forks took to the streets Friday to share a message of safety. Students are urging everyone to stop using cell phones while driving through school zones.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Elementary students in Grand Forks took to the streets Friday to share a message of safety.

Students are urging everyone to stop using cell phones while driving through school zones.

Students at Ben Franklin Elementary School have a simple message.

"Stay off cell phones on school property!" a group yelled.

They're working with Safe Kids Grand Forks to create a cell-free zone around local schools after a study revealed that one in every six people driving by a school are distracted.

"People with cell phones are really distracted. They won't see kids crossing the street and might have a really bad accident," student Bailley Gallagher said.

"When you have the phone and talk or text while driving... you could crash into another car and miss a stop sign," student Sam Sorteberg said.

"If kids are crossing the street and a person isn't paying attention, then they would hit them and get really injured," student Annika Vanyo said.

The message hit home for one mom when she nearly hit a little girl right outside the school.

"All of a sudden she was right in front of me. I slammed on my breaks and they squealed. Because I wasn't on my cell phone, we have a good story to tell today. We saved a life by not using a cell phone around a school," Cindy Janssen-Holweger said.

Students ask parents like Cindy to sign cards pledging not to use cell phones in school zones.

"We can start impacting people's behavior one parent at a time, one child at a time," Safe Kids Grand Forks coordinator Carma Hanson said.

The hope is that cell-free zones will be enacted at every school in the community.

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