Seatbelt-safe KFHS snaps up prize

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, May 30, 2013

King’s Fork High School driver education instructors Katie Beodecker, Richard Froemel and Joshua Worrell say they work hard to prepare students for a lifetime of safe driving. Students at the school recently won a competition by lowering seatbelt violations.

King’s Fork High School driver education instructors Katie Beodecker, Richard Froemel and Joshua Worrell say they work hard to prepare students for a lifetime of safe driving. Students at the school recently won a competition by lowering seatbelt violations.

At King’s Fork High prom last Friday, the school’s safe-driving culture paid off when students used cash won in a seatbelt safety competition to provide a free photo booth.

The popular prom attraction was made possible after the school reduced seatbelt violations detected at checkpoints near the student parking lot by almost 10 percent.

That reduction was better than those at Lakeland and Nansemond River high schools, which reduced their violations by almost 3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

The three schools were competing in a competition titled S to the Third (Suffolk Seatbelt Safety), sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

Joshua Worrell, a driver education instructor at King’s Fork High for eight years, said the school sets up seatbelt safety checkpoints at various times through the year.

They are established at the closest stop sign to the student parking lot.

Police check that drivers, as well as front and backseat passengers, are securely buckled up, Worrell said.

“It just makes kids pay a little more attention,” he said.

Worrell says the school also does seatbelt safety pledge signings in the cafeteria at lunchtime.

“It’s to get them to be aware of the situation,” he added. “We stress a lot about how putting on your seatbelt is one of the first things you need to do when you get into the car. The kids that are driving are doing a pretty good job.”

The photo booth at Friday’s prom was a “huge hit” with students, according to King’s Fork High School principal Suzanne Rice.

“Students were given unlimited use of it, and they had props available,” she wrote in an email.

“There was a line at the booth all night long. The senior sponsor has our copies of the photos for a school scrapbook.”

The seatbelt checkpoints were provided by Suffolk Police Department under the direction of Sgt. Andre Sparks.