ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Students at Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Miami created a prize-winning campaign that increased seat belt usage among students by 10 percent, bringing the student body's overall seat belt usage rate to 97.5 percent. As the winner for best overall campaign in the "Seat Belts Save Challenge," a nationwide competition organized by the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and co-sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the SADD Chapter at the 837-student school in Florida receives a $1,500 prize from The National Road Safety Foundation, a co-sponsor.
The Our Lady of Lourdes SADD Chapter, with advisor Elena Arteaga-Diaz, organized a wide range of activities to communicate messages about the importance of buckling up, starting with a kick-off event featuring a seat belt pledge-signing party. Students also decorated seat belt covers which they later donated to an area chemotherapy center, so patients could use their seat belts comfortably. As a STEM school, they also held a competition for new ideas in seat belt engineering and design.
The Seat Belts Save Challenge was initiated by NHTSA and NOYS to increase seat belt usage among young people at heightened risk of death or injury in crashes because of their low belt usage rate. In 2015, more than half of teen drivers killed in crashes and more than 60% of teen passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.
NOYS and its partners invited high schools throughout the country to develop a local campaign to increase belt usage. The Seat Belts Save Challenge is documented by an unannounced seat belt check before a school's campaign, followed by another check after a two-week education and awareness campaign conducted by students.
Prizes of $1,500 were awarded in two other categories -- greatest improvement in seat belt usage, and highest belt use rate. The FCCLA Chapter at Lake Geneva – Genoa City Union High in Lake Geneva, Wisc., won for the highest seat belt rate of 97.8 percent. The SADD Chapter at Crisfield High School and Academy in Crisfield, Maryland, won for greatest seat belt use increase, up 19.1 percent.
"We are pleased to see students at schools across the country use their creativity and enthusiasm developing effective campaigns that have shown a measurable impact on teen seat belt usage," said Anita Boles, CEO of NOYS. "Getting young people to buckle up consistently is an ongoing safety issue, and we are pleased to see that the Seat Belts Save Challenge is making a difference, one school at a time."
"The Seat Belts Save Challenge is a great program that gets students to spread the important seat belt message to their peers," said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation.
More information is at www.seatbeltssave.org
David Reich 212 573-6000 firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE National Road Safety Foundation