Reporting Kate Raddatz
APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) – An Apple Valley high school is getting creative with the message to drive distraction free.
“It’s a pretty effective video, and she’s adorable,” Eastview High School senior Carrie Burns said.
“She” is 5-year-old Sofia Fornicoia. The girl appears in a YouTube video made by broadcast journalism students at Eastview High School. In the video made for National Teen Driver Safety Week, Sofia encourages students to pledge online to drive without distractions like texting.
“[Sofia] comes in and says, ‘Hi’ quite a bit and they said, ‘Let’s get her in here,’” said Nick Fornicoia, her father and Eastview High School teacher.
In the video, Sofia is seen driving her Barbie car while texting. She runs into a variety of objects, like a toy doll.
“We aren’t going to take everything seriously, so if you add a little bit of comedy it keeps us attentive,” senior Julia Young said.
Eastview High School is one of thousands entered in the Celebrate My Drive contest created by State Farm. The schools that get the most pledges have a chance at winning a concert from Kelly Clarkson, or grant money for their school.
Since the video went online, dozens of students have been pledging as one in four car crashes are caused by distracted driving. However, 77 percent of teens said they feel sure they can safely text while driving.
Even though Sofia isn’t old enough to drive, she knows the message.
“Keep two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel,” she said. “It’s not OK to be texting and driving.”
The students said they’d like to win grant money to expand their broadcasting program. If you want to pledge, click here.