High Schools Gear Up for Battle of the Belt Challenge
LEE'S SUMMIT - Thousands of high school students from 26 high schools in the Kansas City area will challenge each other and pit school against school to out buckle each other in MoDOT's annual Battle of the Belt Challenge.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15-20 years old. Results of a 2010 survey among Missouri teens indicate 34 percent of teens are not wearing their seat belt; 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.
The competition encourages the potential life-saving practice of everyone buckling their seat belts before they travel. Last year 21 schools participated in the Kansas City area, and 136 schools took part statewide.
Each seat belt check measures student seat belt use before and after an educational campaign. Last year Park Hill South High School won the Kansas City award for the Highest Overall Seat Belt Use achieving 97 percent seat belt use. Valley View High School in Blue Springs won the Kansas City award for the Most Improved Seat Belt Use, increasing their seat belt use from 32.1 percent to 79.3 percent. Each school received $350 donated by American Family Insurance to be used for future seat belt educational programs at the schools. Schools receive statewide recognition for seat belt use that reached gold (99-100 percent), silver (95-98 percent) or bronze (91-94 percent) levels. Schools that are statewide winners of the Battle of the Belt Challenge receive banners to display at the schools donated by the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians.