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New Hope-Solebury Wins 2018-19 Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge!

Highway Safety News, TMA News | May 20th, 2019

TMA Bucks is pleased to announce that New Hope-Solebury High School is the overall winner of the 12th Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge!

New Hope-Solebury student drivers had the highest overall seatbelt use (97 percent) over 19 other Bucks County high schools that participated in the challenge while Pennridge High School achieved the greatest percentage increase in seatbelt use over all schools at seven percent (88 % in fall to 95 % in spring).

New Hope-Solebury High School, which was also the overall winner in 2010-11 and 2015-16, will be presented with a $500 cash grant and perpetual trophy plaque for winning. The cash prize is donated by TMA Bucks and is encouraged to be used by the school for safety-related purposes. Pennridge, who also 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, will receive a cash grant and plaque as well. Reality panelists from the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer voted for this year’s winning video.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students,” said New Hope-Solebury High School principal Stephen Seier. “We are all proud that New Hope-Solebury students consistently wear seatbelts when in a vehicle and are honored to be recognized with this award.”

The school group that promoted the Seatbelt Challenge throughout the entire school year were student government officers Devon Beacham, Jack Gawason, Maggie DeVito, Hannah DeVito, Katie Mardiossian, Ben Dupont, Kayla Paul and Valentina Waschbush. These students were under the direction of teacher Jon Gonsiewski. Journalism students of Drew Giorgi also helped promote the challenge by creating videos for the Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge portion of the challenge and screening them for all students.

“For several years we have seen a tremendous commitment and dedication from the entire New Hope-Solebury High School community in promoting seatbelt safety,” said TMA Bucks executive director Steve Noll. “The administration, faculty and students not only take the Seatbelt Challenge seriously but they find a way to incorporate different student groups into delivering positive messaging and the results speak for themselves.”

In Fall 2018, 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.

AAA Mid-Atlantic was the premier sponsor once again for this year’s challenge while Automotive Training Center (Warminster campus), Bucks County Community College, Bucks County Courier Times and Intelligencer, Jefferson Health – Northeast, McCafferty Auto Group, McMahon Associates, Senator Tommy Tomlinson, Stark and Stark, Univest and Visit Bucks County also sponsoring.

“Congratulations to the students of New Hope-Solebury 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 teens have a lower rate of seatbelt usage than all other drivers. Wearing your seatbelt is the best defense against injury or death in the event of a crash. New Hope-Solebury students are certainly an example to be followed for all teen drivers when it comes to wearing seatbelts and potentially saving lives.”