Thirty-six of 41 northeast Missouri high schools participating in seat belt competition.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has announced that a record number of northeast Missouri schools are participating this year in the Battle of the Belt, a high school seat belt challenge. The statewide competition gives Missouri high schools an opportunity to win cash prizes for student seat belt use.
In this area 36 of 41 schools have signed up this year. The winning schools receive cash prizes to be used to further educate students on the importance of seat belt use. Cash prizes are awarded at the end of the campaign to the schools with the highest and most improved seat belt use, and the top three winning videos. This year’s program runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 9.
The Battle of the Belt Challenge consists of two surprise seat belt checks at each high school to measure beat belt usage before and after an educational campaign on the importance of safety belt use. In addition to the program, schools have the opportunity to submit a 30-second video spot aimed at encouraging students to buckle up.
According to a 2012 survey, only 66 percent of Missouri teens buckle up, compared with 79 percent of Missourians, and well below the national average of 84 percent. In the past three years 354 teens died in Missouri traffic crashes, 75 percent of whom were not buckled up. Under Missouri’s Graduated License Law, permit drivers and all passengers must wear safety belts.