Buckled up: King’s Fork students complete Seat Belt Challenge

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

King’s Fork High School was among 16 area schools to complete Drive Safe Hampton Roads’ Get It Together High School Seat Belt Challenge for 2021-22.

The challenge started with 10 Virginia Beach high schools in 1995. Now, the program is available across Hampton Roads, with invitations sent to 52 high schools each year. On average, 20-35 schools participate each year, with materials shared with alternative education schools and private institutions.

High schools compete to raise students’ awareness of the importance of wearing seat belts every time they ride in a vehicle. Thanks to students’ efforts, seat belt use by teens

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increased 3% from the program’s starting baseline percentage, making it 86%, higher than the state average seat belt use.

Strategies included seat belt checks, pledge drives, videos and poster contests as well as other educational student activities. Schools earned points for each of these activities that attributed to medal level award.

“The Get It Together Seat Belt Challenge is a long-standing program that encompasses the lifesaving message to buckle up in participating schools,” said Katharine Beachboard, Get It Together chair. “School faculty and students faced new challenges during the program and finished as champions.”

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 35 victims in 2021 were ages 15-19 in a crash that involved a teen driver and an unrestrained person. This is 17% increase of fatalities since 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.