Clermont County Safe Communities, operated by Ohio State University Extension Clermont County, hosted a seat belt check Oct. 22 at Batavia High School.
With the assistance of Lieutenant Wayne Price of the Clermont County Ohio State Highway Patrol, Clermont County 4-H CARTEENS and Batavia High School’s Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) chapter, Safe Communities staff communicated a simple message: Buckle Up!
“Seat belt checks at local schools help us promote the very important – and very simple – message of buckling up anytime you are in a vehicle,” said Kelly Royalty, Clermont Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Educator and Safe Communities coordinator.
The group interacted with 95 cars during Batavia’s afternoon dismissal. Each car received safe driving materials, and riders were rewarded with candy if they were wearing seat belts. Approximately 158 drivers and passengers were observed. Of the 158, three were not wearing seat belts or improperly wearing seat belts.
Statistics show younger motorists, young men in particular, are most at risk. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Among teens and young adults, ages 18-34, who were killed in fatal crashes in 2011, 64 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash, the highest percentage of any age group. The number jumps to 66 percent when only men in this age group are included.
For Batavia High School, the message was especially timely as the school competed in the State Farm Celebrate My Drive Campaign from Oct. 18-26. The campaign promotes safe driving through a national competition.
For more information about participating Clermont County Safe Communities or booking a seat belt check for your school/organization, please call the Clermont Extension Office at (513) 732-7070 or visit http://clermont.osu.edu/topics/clermont-county-safe-communities.