TMA Bucks is pleased to announce that Conwell-Egan Catholic High School is the overall winner of the 11th Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge while also achieving the greatest percentage increase.
Conwell-Egan Catholic student drivers had the highest overall seatbelt use (97 percent) over 18 other Bucks County high schools that participated in the challenge and also had the greatest percentage increase in seatbelt use over all schools at nine percent (88 % in fall to 97 % in spring).
Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, which won the Seatbelt Challenge for the first time, were presented with two $500 cash grants and perpetual trophy plaques for winning both categories of the seatbelt challenge. The cash prize is donated by TMA Bucks and is encouraged to be used by the school for safety-related purposes.
“This year’s outcome with Conwell-Egan winning both categories is a strong testament to how successful this program can truly be,” said TMA Bucks acting executive director Steve Noll. “Students coming together and working hard day in and day out to promote positive change like getting their peers to wear their seatbelts is a tremendous achievement that potentially saves lives.”
The core students that promoted the Seatbelt Challenge throughout the school year were Robert Phinn, Todd Hartman and Emma Kirby from the EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) program. These students were under the direction of teacher/ facilitator Mr. Josh Beauchamp.
“Congratulations to the team of students on successfully increasing the level of safety on our campus,” said Maggie Markmann, assistant principal for student life at Conwell-Egan Catholic. “We are proud of the leadership that they have exhibited and we are excited to continue safe driving initiatives here at Conwell-Egan Catholic.”
In Fall 2017, 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 May and the winning schools were decided.
“By participating in this challenge, we have gained knowledge behind the wheel and also grew in striving to get people to be the best they can be while driving,” explained Phinn. “We are glad to have such an impact on our school community and the safety of our classmates, friends and staff.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic was the premier sponsor for this year’s challenge while Automotive Training Center (Warminster campus), Bucks County Courier Times and Intelligencer, McCafferty Auto Group, McMahon Associates, Senator Tommy Tomlinson, St. Mary Medical Center Trauma Program, Stark & Stark, Univest and Visit Bucks County also sponsored.
“Congratulations to the students of Conwell-Egan Catholic High School for stepping up and winning the Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge this year,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Car crashes are the leading cause of death for all teens, yet of all teens who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2015, more than half were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Research shows that seatbelts reduce serious crash-related injuries by about half. Conwell-Egan Catholic students are certainly an example to be followed for all teen drivers when it comes to wearing seatbelts and potentially saving lives.”
TMA Bucks also announced earlier in May that William Tennent 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 for this year’s winning video.