The numbers say it all. Each year, more than 5,000 young adults ages 16 to 20 are killed in car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.
Delaware County Transportation Management Association (DCTMA) hopes to help lower that statistic, by increasing seat belt usage among high school students in Delaware County. DCTMA, along with Street Smarts, Delaware County’s Regional Highway Traffic Safety Project, will sponsor the 5th Annual High School Seat Belt Challenge. The goal is to work with high schools and their student organizations, such as SADD, Student Council, and prom committee, to challenge students to always buckle up.
In the coming months, DCTMA and Street Smarts will coordinate assembly presentations to the students, with the goal of increasing carpool safety awareness. The high school with the biggest increase in seat belt usage will win a $500 cash prize and the Seat Belt Challenge plaque, which is displayed all year at the winning school. A special award presentation will be held in the spring. Last year Radnor High School won the award.
"We all know how important seat belt use is. That is why teaching young drivers to form good driving habits early is so important. And it helps to offer a financial incentive,” says DCTMA Executive Director Cecile Charlton.
The participating high schools include:
- Archbishop John Carroll H.S.
- Cardinal O'Hara H.S.
- Chichester H.S.
- Garnet Valley H.S.
- Interboro H.S.
- Marple Newtown H.S.
- Monsignor Bonner/Archbishop Predergast H.S.
- Penncrest H.S.
- Radnor H.S.
- Ridley H.S.
- Springfield H.S.
- Strath Haven H.S.
- Sun Valley H.S.