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General News
Posted June 15, 2012
Battle of the Belts Promotes Seat Belt Use Among Teens

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In fact, when it comes to motor vehicle crashes, teens have the highest fatality rate of any age group. They also have the lowest safety belt use rates of all drivers. This rate is even lower when there are multiple teens in the vehicle. The Battle of the Belts program was initiated in an effort to change these statistics and increase safety belt use among teenagers.

This year in Pasco and Polk Counties, a campaign was conducted at participating high schools during March. The goal was to have high school students convince their peers to always wear their safety belts. Student organizations were asked to create a unique campaign for their high school to encourage fellow students to wear their seat belts during every ride in a motor vehicle.

Award categories in each county included:

  • Highest seat belt use
  • Most improved seat belt use
  • Best school campaign
  • Best public service announcement
  • Best poster
  • Best essay.

Participating High Schools for Pasco County included: Anclote, Gulf, Hudson, River Ridge, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills.

Participating Polk County High Schools included: Auburndale, Lake Gibson, Lake Region and Tenoroc.

Pasco County Awards:

Poster Contest (First Place) - Derek Lumley of Anclote High School. Awarded $100 by GFWC Woman's Club of Tarpon Springs.

Essay Contest (First Place) - Alyssa Mulroy of Gulf High School, Awarded a camera by Pasco County Community Traffic Safety Team.

Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest (First Place) - Gulf High School. Awarded a professionally produced PSA to be aired on CW44, sponsored by All Children's Hospital in partnership with CBS Community Partnerships Program.

Campaign Book (Award) - Wesley Chapel High School - Awarded $250 by Rasmussen College.

Highest Percent Increased Seat Belt Usage (Award) - River Ridge High School - Awarded $500 by Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

Highest Overall Seat Belt Use (Award) - Hudson High School - Awarded $500 by Small World Pediatrics.

Polk County Awards:

Poster Contest - First Place (Award) *Pictured Above* - Chance Grimes of Auburndale High School - Awarded a poster displayed on a  billboard sponsored by Lamar Advertising.

Essay Contest - First Place (Award) - Victoria McDonnell of Auburndale High School -  Awarded a Camera provided by Tri-County Human Services. Her essay will be published in the Tri-County newsletter.

Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest (Award) - Ashton Sharrett & Alexandra Seals of Lake Gibson High School - Awarded a professionally produced PSA by CBS to be aired on CW44. Sponsored by Burnetti Children's Foundation in partnership with CBS Community Partnerships Program.

Campaign Book (Award) - Auburndale High School- Awarded aPlaque sponsored by All Children's Hospital.

Highest Percent Increased Seat Belt Use (Award) - Auburndale High School - Awarded a plaque sponsored by All Children's Hospital.

Highest Overall Seat Belt Use (Award) Auburndale High School- Awarded a plaque and traveling trophy sponsored by All Children's Hospital.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to our sponsors and schools for making the 2012 Battle of the Belts program possible!

View photos from the 2012 events