TMA Bucks announced in June that Middle Bucks Institute of Technology was the overall winner of the 8th Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge. MBIT student drivers had the highest overall seatbelt use (97 percent) over 18 other Bucks County high schools that participated in the challenge.
Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, which was also the overall winner in 2013, were presented with a $500 cash grant and perpetual trophy plaque for winning the challenge. The cash prize is donated by TMA Bucks and is encouraged to be used by the school for safety-related purposes. The school group that promoted the Seatbelt Challenge throughout the entire school year was HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), which was led by instructor Marsha Moyer.
“The Seatbelt Challenge was an eye-opener for me and the students at Middle Bucks Institute of Technology,” said sophomore HOSA member Allison Wright. “The program demonstrates and makes you really think how fragile life is and how quickly it change by deciding not to wear a seatbelt,” added sophomore Kimberly Sheldron.
Truman High School, which achieved the greatest percentage increase for the challenge, also received a $500 cash grant and perpetual trophy plaque. Truman student drivers posted a seven percent increase in seatbelt usage from baseline surveys last September (74 percent in the fall to 81 percent in the spring).
“I am extremely proud of the Truman SADD Group,” said school Students Against Destructive Decisions advisor Jill Saul. “This year they have dedicated themselves to keeping their peers safe from harm. Our seatbelt campaign was especially effective this year and we are more than thrilled with the increased results. This type of peer to peer mentoring is so effective and we are proud to be honored by TMA Bucks for our accomplishments.”
In Fall 2014, baseline surveys on seatbelt usage by student drivers were conducted at high schools throughout the county without the knowledge of the student body or administration in order to ensure the most accurate data sampling. All schools were then challenged to raise seatbelt usage and participate in the Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge.
Various student groups then at each participating school promote the Seatbelt Challenge to all students throughout the school year in a variety of creative ways. Follow-up surveys took place unannounced in April and the winning schools were decided.
“TMA Bucks is extremely proud of all the schools that participated in the Seatbelt Challenge,” said TMA Bucks executive director Bill Brady. “For the second year in a row every school that took on the challenge posted an increase from the fall baseline surveys to the follow up checks this spring. The students are fully embracing this challenge and delivering positive results throughout Bucks County.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic was the premier sponsor for this year’s challenge while Automotive Training Center (Warminster campus), Bucks County Courier Times and Intelligencer, Gannon Insurance Agency, McCafferty Auto Group, McMahon Associates, Senator Tommy Tomlinson, St. Mary Medical Center Trauma Program, Univest and Visit Bucks County also sponsored.
TMA Bucks also announced in May that William Tennent High School was voted the winner of the Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge powered by Comcast, which is a component of the Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge. Reality panelists from the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer voted once again for this year’s winning video.