Monday, October 4, 2010

Smartie or Dum Dum: Which will you choose?

Will your school be a Dum Dum or a Smartie?

Using Dum Dum pops and Smartie candies is one way students enforce seat belt use in Battle of the Belt. Students wearing their seat belts receive Smarties to reinforce this lifesaving decision while students failing to buckle up get a Dum Dum.

According to the results of the latest statewide seat belt survey, teen seat belt use is up to 66 percent from 61 percent. Unfortunately, that means 34 percent still aren’t wearing their seat belts and are at a greater risk to get injured or killed in traffic crashes.

Battle of the Belt 2010 kicks off today. Missouri high schools will be competing to increase seat belt use among students.

More than 200 Missouri high schools signed up for this year’s competition, an 38 percent increase in participation from last year.

Battle of the Belt consists of two surprise seat belt checks at each high school to measure student seat belt usage before and after an educational campaign on the importance of safety belt use.

Statewide awards are given to schools who reach 91 percent or higher seat belt usage. Awards are also given at the regional level to schools with the highest overall seat belt usage and most improved seat belt usage.

Schools also have the opportunity to submit a 30-second video spot aimed at encouraging their peers to buckle up.

Last year’s winning PSA came from Washington High School and can be viewed below. It featured the slogan “Everyone’s a Winner when you Buckle Up.”

Teen seat belt usage increased by 5 percent in 2010. Sixty-six percent of Missouri teens buckle up. Teen seat belt usage remains below Missouri statewide usage (76 percent) and national seat belt usage (85 percent).

Find out more about Battle of the Belt here.