It is time once again to see which high school in Bucks County will have the highest seatbelt usage this school year as we announced during National Teen Driver Safety Week we are once again challenging Bucks County high school students to always buckle up as the 15th Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge & Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge officially begins.
The Bucks County Commissioners also recognized the success of the program over the years at their October 20 public meeting by officially proclaiming National Teen Driver Safety Week in Bucks County. You can watch a clip of the meeting on our YouTube page.
“The TMA is extremely proud to have our Bucks County Commissioners not only recognize the importance of National Teen Driver Safety Week to our community but the success of our Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge as well,” said TMA Bucks executive director Stephen Noll. “Our Seatbelt Challenge delivers evidence-based results that make the program successful as each year of the challenge the total combined percentage of student driver seatbelt use by participating schools has increased from the Fall semester to the Spring semester.”
Baseline surveys of student driver seatbelt use have been conducted at every public and private high school in Bucks County. Surveys were conducted safely and without the knowledge of the student body or administration in order to ensure the most accurate data sampling. Each school’s result is being forwarded to the administration with an invitation to participate in the challenge.
The Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge encourages participating high schools to raise their student driver seatbelt usage over the course of the year as various student groups at each school work to actively promote seatbelt use within the student body using posters, t-shirts, school-wide announcements and other creative messages. In spring, an unannounced follow-up survey is conducted at each of the participating schools. The school with the highest overall percentage in seatbelt use and the school with the greatest percentage increase in seatbelt use are both awarded with perpetual trophy plaques and $500 cash grants for safety-related use by the school.
“TMA Bucks is thrilled to once again bring this results-driven initiative to Bucks County high schools following a two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Noll. “While we never stopped providing the educational component to students the last two years, we are so happy to bring back the competition portion that makes this program so engaging and successful.”
Back again this year as part of the initiative is the Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge powered by Comcast. As part of the Seatbelt Challenge all Bucks County high schools have the opportunity to produce and submit a 30-second video PSA on teen driver safety. It can deal with any aspect including seatbelts, texting, distracted driving, speeding, etc. The school selected as the winner will get a $500 cash grant and their video will play on Comcast networking. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube with the link emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2022 to be eligible to win. The winning video this year will be selected by student writers from the “Teen Takes” staff of the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer and will be featured online at buckscountycouriertimes.com and theintell.com.
“Our Teen Takes panelists look forward every year to judging the TMA Bucks Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge,” said Crissa Shoemaker DeBree, regional investigative editor for USA Today’s Pennsylvania network and editorial director for Teen Takes. “Our 43 students, representing 23 high schools from throughout the region, are engaged in and care about their communities. They’re well aware of the dangers of unsafe driving, and take pride in helping to share this message with their peers.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic, Automotive Training Center (Warminster campus), Bucks County Community College, Bucks County Courier Times and Intelligencer, Jefferson Bucks Hospital, McMahon Associates, Senator Tommy Tomlinson and Visit Bucks County are sponsors of the event.