Updated 05/15/2012 05:59 PM
"Battle of the Belts" competition aims to stress seat belt safety
Members of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee are challenging schools across the state to get students to participate in "Battle of the Belts." The competition is targeting teen drivers and Tuesday, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School accepted. YNN's Beth Croughan has more on the contest and the message state and school officials hope to make click.
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BURNT HILLS, N.Y. -- Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School students sprinted to keep seconds off the clock. They were being timed as they traveled from car seat to seat practicing proper safety techniques. It was part of a competition called "Battle of the Belts" and it aimed to stress the importance of wearing a seat belt.
According to Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, more than 90 percent of drivers buckle up before going anywhere.
Junior Vince Dowdle responded, "Buckle up the seat belt," when asked what the first thing he did when he got in a car.
His friend, Matthew Peltier, said, "Buckle up."
And 18-year-old Jessica Lyden's response was, "Put my seat belt on."
But GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala said statistics still show some troubling trends. In 2010, there were 176 deaths across the state involving young drivers ages 16 to 24 and nearly 60 percent of them weren't buckled up.
"Buckling up is one choice every driver or passenger can make to greatly increase your chances of living through a motor vehicle crash," said Fiala.
And it's a choice Fiala said only takes seconds. Taking less than a minute for most Tuesday to do it four different times.
"Forty-six seconds," said Dowdle of him and his teammates attempt.
Less than a minute to drive home a message that could save a life.