The 7th Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge is officially underway as TMA Bucks announced during National Teen Driver Safety Week it is once again challenging Bucks County high school student drivers to increase their seatbelt usage.
Baseline surveys of student driver seatbelt use have been conducted at every public and private high school in Bucks County. Surveys were conducted without the knowledge of the student body or administration in order to ensure the most accurate data sampling. Each school’s result is being forwarded to the administration with an invitation to participate in the challenge.
The Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge encourages participating high schools to raise their student driver seatbelt usage over the course of the year as various student groups at each school work to actively promote seatbelt use within the student body using posters, t-shirts, school-wide announcements and other creative messages. In spring, a follow-up survey is conducted at each of the participating schools. The school with the highest overall percentage in seatbelt use and the school with the greatest percentage increase in seatbelt use are both awarded with perpetual trophy plaques and $500 cash grants for safety-related use by the school.
“It is exciting for TMA Bucks once again to see this highly successful initiative get under way in Bucks County high schools,” said TMA Bucks executive director Bill Brady. “The students have responded so well to the challenge over the years and it is evident that the program is working as all 19 high schools that participated last year posted an increase in seatbelt usage from fall to spring.”
Back again this year as part of the initiative is the Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge powered by Comcast. As part of the Seatbelt Challenge all Bucks County high schools have the opportunity to produce and submit a 30-second video PSA on teen driver safety. It can deal with any aspect including seatbelts, texting, distracted driving, speeding, etc. The school selected as the winner will get a $500 cash grant and their video will play on Comcast networking. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube with the link emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org byApril 1, 2014 to be eligible to win. The winning video this year will be selected by teen writers from the Reality staff of the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer.
Patricia Walker, executive editor of the Courier Times and Intelligencer, said participation of the newspapers’ Reality staff is a great way to amplify the voice and creativity of Bucks County youth through this contest.
“We are proud to partner with TMA Bucks on a project that aims to keep local teens safe behind the wheel and on the road,” said Walker. “As a media company engaged in video reporting and story telling, we’re also happy to encourage the next generation of producers and videographers.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic is the premier sponsor once again for this year’s challenge while American Traffic Solutions, Automotive Training Center (Warminster campus), Gannon Insurance Agency, McCafferty Auto Group, McMahon Associates, Senator Tommy Tomlinson, Univest and Visit Bucks County also sponsoring.
Last year’s challenge saw 19 high schools compete and first-time participant Middle Bucks Institute of Technology had the highest overall seatbelt use (97 percent) while Palisades High School achieved the greatest percentage increase as they posted an 11 percent jump in seatbelt usage from baseline surveys (79 percent in the fall to 90 percent in the spring). Central Bucks High School East was voted the winner of the first-ever Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge.