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NE Missouri Schools Cash In on Buckling Up

NE Missouri Schools Cash In on Buckling Up
Winners of the 2012 Battle of the Belt Challenge Announced
HANNIBAL – Local schools took the challenge to buckle up and made it click with students. One hundred and thirty-eight (138) schools, including 28 out of 41 schools in Northeast Missouri, participated in this year’s Battle of the Belt Challenge, a competition to raise seat belt use among teens.

Participating schools launched two surprise seat belt checks at each school to measure student seat belt use before and after an educational campaign. In addition, schools had the opportunity to submit a 30-second video spot to encourage their peers to buckle up.

Northeast High School in Cairo won the Northeast Regional Award for the Highest Overall Seat Belt Use achieving 100% seat belt use. Adair County R-1 High School in Novinger won the Northeast Regional award for the Most Improved Seat Belt Use increasing their seat belt use from 38% to 97%. Both schools will receive $500.00 donated by American Family Insurance to be used for future seat belt educational programs at the schools.

Six schools in the northeast Missouri area will receive statewide recognition for seat belt use that reached gold (99-100%), silver (95-98%) or bronze (91-94%) levels of seat belt use and will receive banners to display at the schools donated by the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians.  Those schools include:

Northeast High School – Cairo – Gold Banner – 100%
Highland High School – Ewing – Silver Banner – 97.83%
Adair County R-1 High School – Novinger – Silver Banner – 97.30%
Marion County High School – Philadelphia – Silver Banner – 95.59%
Ralls County R-II (Mark Twain) High School – Center – Bronze Banner – 93.75%
Pike County R-III (Clopton) High School – Clarksville – Bronze Banner – 91.19%

For the 30-second video competition, 10 Missouri schools submitted videos.  The top three winning videos will also receive money to further seat belt educational programs at their schools; Montgomery County High School received Honorable Mention for their video “What would Willy do”. The winning videos were submitted by the following schools and will be available online later in January by visiting

1st Place – Couch High School – Myrtle, MO – $500
2nd Place – Diamond High School – Diamond, MO – $300
3rd Place – Potosi High School – Potosi, MO – $200
Honorable Mention – Montgomery County High School – Montgomery City, MO
Honorable Mention – Columbia Career Center – Columbia, MO

“We’re proud of our local schools for showing a commitment to buckling up and wanting to help other teens understand the importance of wearing a seat belt every time they ride in or drive a vehicle.” said Tana Akright, regional coordinator for Battle of the Belt. “Seat belts save lives.” Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15-20 years old. According to a 2012 survey, only 66 percent of Missouri teens buckle up. In the past three years 354 teens died in Missouri traffic crashes, 75 percent of whom were not buckled up.

Battle of the Belt was originally brought to southwest Missouri by the Missouri Emergency Nurses Association and St. John’s Hospital. In 2006, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, in conjunction with American Family Insurance, took the competition statewide and continue to sponsor this year’s program with the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians.

Is your school ready to take the challenge to buckle up? Learn more at