POQUOSON — Poquoson High School earned second place in the statewide 2022 Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety’s (YOVASO) “Drive for Change: Buckle Up and Slow Down” campaign.
According to a press announcement, the yearly challenge, which aims to encourage youth and teens to develop a lifelong, buckle-up habit, saw a 4% increase in seat belt use among students at participating schools that completed pre- and post-seat belt checks. The campaign also focused on speed prevention for young drivers.
Poquoson High School will receive $250 dollars to go to future driver and passenger safety programs. Prize funding for the campaign was provided by a grant from State Farm, which also supported campaign materials.
“State Farm congratulates the participating schools for educating teens on the importance of wearing a seat belt,” said Dwayne Redd, State Farm spokesperson. “We hope the students develop a lifelong habit of buckling up, both as a driver and a passenger.”
Sixty schools, youth groups, and other traffic safety organizations participated in the annual campaign that ran throughout the months of September, October, and November, according to the press release. Winners were selected based on their campaign involvement, which included developing one large-scale creative event to reach the entire student body.
The creative event was judged on content, creativity, and the number of students reached. Additionally, schools and youth groups conducted behavior-changing activities each month to emphasize the importance of the campaign’s theme to buckle up and slow down.
Other judging criteria included the results of pre and post-campaign seat belt checks to encourage buckling up among students.
“We are excited by the increase in seat belt use among students at participating schools during the Drive for Change campaign,” said Mary King, YOVASO Program Manager. “The participating schools, youth groups, and student leaders did an outstanding job in developing creative ways to encourage teens to buckle up and slow down and educating young students about the importance of always wearing a seat belt. We hope our schools and student traffic safety advocates will continue to improve seat belt use rates in their communities by reminding peers and loved ones to always buckle up.”
For more information about YOVASO, check out the organization’s official Facebook Page.