South High nationally recognized for teen safe driving campaign


August 26, 2016


The following news release is shared on behalf of the National Road Safety Foundation. Congratulation to South High School’s student government for earning second place in a national teen safe driving campaign contest. South students Haley Edmondson and Kya Etheredge will represent SAHS at the National Youth Safe Driving conference for teens in the nation’s capital this October.


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David Reich

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Virginia Student Campaign Spurs 10.5% Rise in Belt Usage; Schools in Alaska and Alabama Get Honors in Contest by National Organizations for Youth Safety, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and The National Road Safety Foundation


ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 26, 2016 -- Responding to a challenge by the government and two teen safety groups, students at Batavia High School in Batavia, Ohio mounted a campaign that increased seat belt usage among students by 10.5%, bringing the student body’s overall seat belt usage rate to a near-perfect 98.3%. By winning the "Seat Belts Save Challenge," a nationwide competition organized by the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 950-student school receives a $4,500 prize from The National Road Safety Foundation.


The Seat Belts Save Challenge has three winning categories, each with a $1,500 prize: best overall campaign, greatest improvement in seat belt usage, and highest seat belt use rate. Batavia High School won in all three categories. Angie Kovacs is the advisor who worked with the students in a class that is a satellite program of Great Oaks Career Campuses.


The Seat Belts Save Challenge was initiated by NHTSA and NOYS to increase seat belt usage among young people who are at heightened risk from death or injury in traffic crashes because of their low belt usage rate. In 2015, more than half of teen drivers killed in crashes and more than 60% of teen passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.


NOYS and its partners invited high schools throughout the country to develop a local campaign to increase belt usage. The Seat Belts Save Challenge is documented by an unannounced seat belt check before a school’s campaign, followed by another unannounced check after the school's two-week education and awareness campaign.


South Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska and the SADD Chapter at Dothan High School in Dothan, Alabama were named top runners-up for excellent schoolwide campaigns. South Anchorage H.S., with 1,500 students, reported a 5% usage increase, to 94.1% overall. The campaign organized by the SADD Chapter at Dothan H.S. brought nearly a 2% increase, to an overall 82.4% belt usage rate in the 1,225-student school.


"We salute the students at schools across the country who developed creative and well-executed campaigns that have a measurable impact on teen seat belt usage," said Dr. Mark Rosekind, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “We have made a lot of progress in improving seat belt use as a nation, but need creative solutions like the ones these students have developed to get to 100 percent and save more lives.”

"Getting young people to buckle up consistently is an ongoing safety issue, and we are pleased to see that the Seat Belts Save Challenge is making a difference, one school at a time," said Anita Boles, CEO of NOYS.


"We are pleased to see students putting their creativity and enthusiasm to work to help spread the important seat belt message to their peers,” said Michelle Anderson, NRSF Director of Operations. “Simply put – seat belts save lives.”


More information and future contest details are at  


The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) is a coalition of national non-profit and youth serving organizations, government agencies, and for-profit businesses working together toward the common goal of addressing critical safety issues that affect youth in the United States. NOYS builds partnerships to save lives, prevent injuries, and promote safe and healthy lifestyles among all youth while encouraging youth empowerment and leadership. For more information, visit


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. It works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial. NHTSA’s mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity. For more information, visit and


The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded more than 50 years ago, produces traffic safety programs on distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency, pedestrian safety, and a host of other safety issues. It distributes the programs free of charge to schools, police, and traffic safety advocates, community groups and individuals. NRSF also sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities. For more information or to download free programs, visit or


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