FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Information Officer:
February 23rd, 2010
Cpl. Kevin Tieman
Cass County Sheriff's Office
2009 Winners of Battle of Belt Challenge Announced
Safety Belt Campaign Aims to Save Lives
Press Release from Missouri Department of Transportation Kansas City Area District
Several Kansas City-area high schools are among statewide winners in the 2009 Battle of the Belt Challenge to encourage safety belt use.
Midway High School in Cass County won the Kansas City regional award for the Highest Overall Safety Belt Usage achieving 96 percent seat belt use to bring home the Silver Award. In addition, Drexel High School won the Kansas City regional award for the Most Improved Safety Belt Usage, increasing their rate from 36 to 54 percent. Each school will receive $250.
Platte County High School, Park Hill South High School and Belton High School each received Bronze Awards for reaching or exceeding 91 percent of students wearing safety belts. Gold Awards go to schools where 99 percent of students wear safety belts, and Silver Awards go to schools where 95 percent wear safety belts.
More than 145 Missouri high schools participated in the 2009 Battle of the Belt Challenge. The schools compete against each other to increase safety belt use and save lives through this program. Participating high schools launched two surprise seat belt checks at each school to measure student seat belt usage before and after an educational campaign. In addition, schools had the opportunity to submit a 30-second video spot aimed at encouraging their peers to buckle up.
Each statewide winner will receive recognition from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety at a local awards ceremony and will receive a large banner to display their accomplishment at school.
"In 2008, seven out of 10 young people killed in Missouri vehicle crashes were not buckled up," said Leanna Depue, chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's executive committee.
"Through education, competition and fun, the Battle of the Belt Challenge can make a difference with Missouri teens and save lives. "These schools know the importance of buckling up," added Depue. "Congratulations to these schools. Their renewed commitments to buckling up will result in lives saved and injuries reduced in this age group."
Sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, the statewide competition ran from October 5 to November 20 to educate young drivers about safety belt use, reduce traffic crash injuries and save lives.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people. Results of a 2008 survey among Missouri teens indicate four out of 10 teens are not wearing safety belts. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, in conjunction with American Family Insurance sponsored this year's program.
For more information on the Battle of the Belt Challenge, visit www.savemoyouth.com.