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

Highway Safety News, TMA News | May 17th, 2016

TMA Bucks has announced that New Hope-Solebury High School is the overall winner of the 9th Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge. New-Hope Solebury student drivers had the highest overall seatbelt use (97 percent) over 18 other Bucks County high schools that participated in the challenge.

New Hope-Solebury High School, which was also the overall winner in 2010-11, 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 student council under the direction of teacher Jon Gonsiewski. Journalism students of Drew Giorgi also helped promote the challenge by creating a video for the Teen Driver Video PSA Challenge powered by Comcast portion of the event.

“At New-Hope Solebury, we are very proud of our students practicing safe driving habits and for educating others through student made PSA’s,” said principal Stephen Seier.

Quakertown Community High School, which achieved the greatest percentage increase for the challenge, will also receive a $500 cash grant and perpetual trophy plaque. Quakertown student drivers posted a five percent increase in seatbelt usage from baseline surveys last September (87 percent in the fall to 92 percent in the spring).

In Fall 2015, 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 continues to be impressed with the commitment our young drivers in Bucks County are making in terms of making the right choice to buckle up,” said TMA Bucks executive director Bill Brady. “For the third straight year every school that took on the challenge posted an increase from the fall baseline surveys to the follow up checks this spring.”

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 New Hope-Solebury High School for stepping up to 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 2013, approximately 56 percent were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Research shows that seatbelts reduce serious crash-related injuries by 45 to 60 percent. 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.”

TMA Bucks also announced in May that Pennsbury 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 for this year’s winning video.