After Ken Ucci lost his son in a distracted driving accident 11 years ago, he has been working to make sure it doesn't happen to other families.
The traffic light pole where a car driven by a friend of Ucci's son, Mike, crashed into after reaching for his cellphone sits in the old Altamont Race Park as a reminder of the danger of distracted driving.
Once a month on Sunday, Ucci hosts Get Real Behind the Wheel —a free driving event for teens, as young as 14, and parents— at the closed down race track in Tracy to teach people how to drive safely and without distractions.
Distracted drivers killed nearly 3,500 people in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Local Man Raises Awareness About Distracted Driving
"You gotta put the cellphone in the glove compartment, it's off-limits," Ucci said.
One father who brought his daughter to the track said the event is important because there are too many people who are just not paying attention.
"There's too many people that are out there, too much of them are in a hurry," Walter Patteson said.
Cell phone use is highest among 16-24 year olds, according to the NHTSA, and April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Officials and Ucci want to encourage teens and adults to never text or talk on the phone while driving and speak up when you see someone who does.