Feb. 21, 2012
Crocker, Kingston high schools among 2011
The Battle of the Belt challenge, designed to increase seat belt use in teens, features an unannounced peer-conducted safety belt survey of students, followed by a peer-designed educational campaign, with a final surprise safety belt survey to conclude if more students are buckling up. Students were also able to submit a 30-second video with a focus on encouraging their fellow classmates to buckle up.
Some 155 schools participated in the challenge, including 38 schools in the Central District. In 2010, 30 schools registered in the district.
Both Crocker and Kingston high schools received the silver level awards for completion of the program and MoDOT will present each school with a silver banner. Schools with final seat belt usage of 95 to 98 percent received the silver level award.
In Crocker High School’s initial survey, 72.73 percent of students were belted. In its final survey, 97.4 percent were belted, for a total improvement of 33.93 percent.
Kingston High School’s initial survey showed 55.17 percent of the students were wearing their seat belts. The final survey results showed 96.43 percent of students were belted, for a total improvement of 74.78 percent.
Other high schools in the Meramec Region that participated in the 2011 competition included: Cuba High School and Steelville High School in Crawford County, Owensville High School in Gasconade County, Vienna High School and Belle High School in Maries County, Chamois High School, Linn High School and Fatima High School in Osage County, John F. Hodge High School and Newburg High School in Phelps County, and Waynesville High School and Dixon High School in Pulaski County.
Schools with the highest overall score received a traveling plaque, a banner and a $350 check from American Family Insurance. Schools in the most improved category also received these prizes. If schools rated 91 percent or higher in seat belt usage, they became eligible for a gold (99-100 percent), silver (95-98 percent) or bronze (91-44 percent) banner.
For the public service announcements, first place received $500, second place received $300 and third place received $200.
A complete list of Battle of the Belt winners from 2011 is available by visiting http://www.modot.org/Safety/BOTB_Info&History.htm. Schools may register online for the 2012 competition beginning March 1. The competition dates for 2012 are slated from Oct. 1 to Nov. 9.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15 to 20 years old. Results of a 2011 survey among Missouri teens indicate 33 percent of teens are not wearing their seat belts, putting them at greater risk to get killed or injured in traffic crashes. Seven out of 10 teens killed in Missouri traffic crashes are unbuckled.
For the 2011 Battle of the Belt, Ford Driving Skills for Life donated $20,000 worth of iTunes cards, which were used as rewards for schools that participated. The Governors Highway Safety Association provided the incentives through a grant.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, American Family Insurance and the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians sponsor the program.