Students at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy 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 will receive a $1,500 prize from The National Road Safety Foundation, a co-sponsor.
The SADD Chapter, under the direction of adviser and science teacher Ms. 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, students at Lourdes Academy 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 who are at heightened risk from death or injury in traffic 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 unannounced check after a two-week education and awareness campaign conducted by students.