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New Hope-Solebury Wins Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge Presented By NJM Insurance!

Highway Safety News, TMA News | June 4th, 2024

We are proud to announce that New Hope-Solebury High School is the overall winner of the 17th Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge presented by NJM Insurance Group!

New Hope-Solebury student drivers had the highest overall seatbelt use (98 percent) over 20 other Bucks County high schools that participated in the challenge while Neshaminy High School achieved the greatest percentage increase in seatbelt use over all schools at four percent (90 % in fall to 94 % in spring). The 98 percent seatbelt usage by New Hope-Solebury is the highest ever achieved in the history of the challenge.

New Hope-Solebury High School, which was also the overall winner in 2010-11, 2015-16, 2018-19, and 2021-22 was presented with a $500 cash grant and perpetual trophy plaque at their “Lions Pride” award assembly on June 3. The cash prize is donated by TMA Bucks and is encouraged to be used by the school for safety-related purposes.

“Congratulations to New-Hope Solebury students for not only winning this year but for achieving the highest percentage ever at 98 percent since this challenge started in 2007,” said TMA Bucks executive director Stephen Noll. “Overall, all participating schools should be extremely proud as for nine consecutive years all school’s showed an increase in usage from fall to spring. The combined average of all schools also came in at an impressive 93 percent, tying our highest combined average ever.”

The school group that promoted the Seatbelt Challenge throughout the entire school year were student government leaders Anna D’Agostino, Lor Madarasz, Skylar High, Max Wright, Meara Chick, Kayla Fennel, Brooks Saft, and Jon Gormley. These students were under the direction of teacher Jon Gonsiewski passed out “LifeSavers” mints to all drivers with seatbelts on during dismissal at times to promote buckling up.

“Congratulations to everyone at New Hope for leading by example and making safety a priority,” said Gonsiewski. “Winning the seatbelt challenge is more than just winning a contest — I love our commitment to protecting ourselves and each other and recognizing how important this is to keep our loved ones safe. Keep up the great work of buckling up!”

Teacher Drew Giorgi’s video productions students also helped promote the challenge by creating a video for the Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge powered by Comcast portion of the challenge and screening them for all students.

Neshaminy High School’s “Interact Club” under the direction of teacher Ms. Suzi Drake will receive a cash grant and plaque as well for their accomplishment.

In Fall 2023, 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.

NJM Insurance Group was the presenting sponsor this year with supporting sponsorships coming from AAA Mid-Atlantic, Automotive Training Center, Bucks County Community College, Jefferson Bucks Hospital, Bowman, Stark & Stark, and Visit Bucks County.

“NJM Insurance Group is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this year’s TMA Bucks Seatbelt Challenge,” said Erica Rosso, NJM Consumer Safety Partnership and Program Supervisor. “According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, using a seatbelt can help reduce the risk of fatal injury for drivers and front-seat passengers by 60% which is why contests such as these are crucial in spreading awareness.”

We also announced recently that Central Bucks High School East was voted the winner of this year’s Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge powered by Comcast. CB East, which also won the contest last school year, was voted the winner over eight other Bucks County high schools.