WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and now more than ever a West Warwick family is pushing for change.

Advocates and those who knew Matt Dennison, who was killed by an alleged drunk driver earlier this year, gathered Thursday morning calling for changes in culture to stop impaired or distracted driving before it happens.

West Warwick Police Patrolman and West Warwick/Exeter-West Greenwich hockey coach Justin Lake, where Dennison was a captain, spoke at the event.

“Our department and every other department in the state of Rhode Island are out there actively looking for impaired drivers and distracted drivers. But we cannot do this alone. We cannot be everywhere. We need the community’s help. Call the police and report a potentially drunk driver or distracted driver. Help us do our jobs in keeping these roads safe. And help us try to keep this from happening to any other family again,” he said.

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Rebecca White, member of Youth Driven RISAS, said that the change will take everyone.

“We all need to lead by example and not drive distracted together. Let us set good examples for our friends, families, kids and not touch our phones while we’re driving. Let’s give ourselves enough time to get to where we need to go so we’re not multitasking in our cars. Let’s set our GPS and playlists before we even set our car into drive. These simple little things can help prevent car crashes on our roads and help save lives,” she said.

Dennison’s family was in the crowd, alongside Kevin MacDonald, who was also in the car with him.

Dennison’s father, Mark, recently sat down with 12 News to reflect on his son’s life while also pushing to change the state’s DUI laws.

“Matt’s not the only 17-year-old that has passed this year from this terrible, terrible thing,” he said.

“Everybody knows the dangers of driving under the influence … whatever the legislators need from me, they’ve got a partner in me,” he continued. “I’m just asking they take a serious hard look at these laws and they make some meaningful changes … we need to deter people from taking these actions. There is very little punishment for the people that do these things, and they are crimes, so we need to address them accordingly.”

Cathy Andreozzi, who founded the Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation, attended Thursday’s event. On March 26, 2003, Tori was hit by a drunken driver — leaving her with a severe brain injury.

The families of others impacted by distracted and drunk driving crashes were also at the event.

Watch the full event below.