Study: An ‘F’ For Distracted Drivers In Denver’s School Zones

By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4)– A nationwide study released Thursday morning highlights the dangerous issue of distracted driving- specifically in school zones. Denver gets a failing grade.

The study analyzed 45 million drivers around 75,000 schools across the country and the result is shocking: 88 percent of drivers use their phones while behind the wheel in school zones.

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(credit: CBS)

One in three drivers show unsafe pickup or drop off behavior in school zones.

Michelle Kennard, the principal of the Academy of Urban Learning in Denver has seen it first hand, “I warn my students about it all the time.”

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The study ranks the best and worst streets from “A” to “F.”

Colorado, as whole, received a “C” when it comes to drivers paying attention in and around school zones. A closer look at individual counties shows Denver ranked with an “F.”

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CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Michelle Kennard, the principal of the Academy of Urban Learning (credit: CBS)

Kennard’s school was among those used in the study. The study shows the streets surrounding the Academy of Urban Learning are the worst in the county when it comes to distracted drivers.

“They are kind of erratic in the lanes, we see that a lot where they are drifting into another lane,” she said.

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(credit: CBS)

Jonathan Matus is the CEO of Zendrive, the company behind the research.

Matus hopes the information will be a tool for schools and law enforcement to initiate change and help reduce accidents.

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Jonathan Matus, CEO of Zendrive (credit: CBS)

“It’s their duty to keep our kids safe. And now we can give them a scorecard and keep them accountable and help them focus the resources to areas that really need that attention,” Matus said.

Kenard seconds that idea, “I do think law enforcement could use it as a tool. I would appreciate it.”

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(credit: CBS)

Find out whether your child’s school is part of the study and how it ranks at zendrive.com/school/.

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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