Friday, April 12, 2024

Local High Schools Successfully Complete Seat Belt Use Challenge

Photo by Chris Martin on Unsplash

HAMPTON ROADS — Drive Safe Hampton Roads recognized nineteen local high schools, including schools in Williamsburg/James City County and York County, for their participation in the Get It Together Seat Belt Challenge.

According to Drive Safe Hampton Roads (DSHR), seat belt use by teens increased 7.96% from the program’s starting baseline percentage, making it 87.60%. That is higher than the state average belt use of 75.6%. In addition, four area high schools increased seat belt usage over 15% from their baseline use rate.

“The Get It Together Seat Belt Challenge is a long-standing program that promotes the lifesaving message to buckle up,” said Holly Dalby, Get It Together Chair. “School faculty and students worked together to find creative ways to enforce the buckle up message throughout their schools, and they all finished as champions. The program has been in area high schools since 1995.”

Students and faculty stressed seat belt usage with strategies including seat belt checks, pledge drives, videos and poster contests and other educational activities. Schools earned points for activities that attributed to medal-level awards.

High schools from Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg/James City County, and York County participated. For a list of medal winners, visit drivesafehr.org/git.

According to the DMV, in 2022, there were 4,038 teens age 15-19 involved in crashes in Hampton Roads, resulting in 1,241 injuries, while 63 teens died on the roads of the Commonwealth — six of those fatalities in Hampton Roads.

The Christopher King Foundation, State Farm, AAA Tidewater Virginia, and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles provide funding for the Drive Safe Hampton Roads program.

“AAA Tidewater Virginia is proud to be part of the Get It Together Seat Belt Challenge for the 26th year,” said Holly Dalby, AAA Tidewater Director of Public Affairs & Marketing. “These schools and students work hard throughout the year promoting seat belt use to their peers, teachers and families. The program makes a lasting impression on all involved and increases seat belt use, which ultimately saves lives.”

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