Central Mountains Teen Seat Belt Challenge Kicks Off

March 12, 2012 - Traffic Safety - Frisco, CO – In an effort to save lives and increase seat belt use among teenagers, the Central Mountains RETAC (Regional Emergency Medical &Trauma Advisory Council), along with four local high schools are kicking off the first annual Teen Seat Belt Challenge this week.

The eight-week campaign  will be led by students who will educate their peers about the importance of buckling up, while holding a fun and friendly competition with  others schools to see who can increase seat belt use the most.  Participating schools include: Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum, Lake County High School in Leadville, and Summit County High School in Frisco.  The challenge is funded through a federal grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“This is a teen-driven seat belt challenge, so the students are able to come up with their own creative ideas to convince their classmates to wear seat belts every time they are in a vehicle,” said Anne Robinson, project coordinator for Central Mountains RETAC.  “This peer-to-peer outreach is much more effective than adults simply telling them what to do.”

Pre-challenge seat belt observation studies show the participating schools’ current seat belt use rate:

  • Summit High School 88.3%
  • Battle Mountain High School 87.7%
  • Eagle Valley High School 78.4%
  • Leadville High School 65.9%

When the challenge ends on May 4th, prizes will be awarded to schools that show the greatest increase in seat belt use, the highest ending seat belt use rate, as well as the school with the overall best campaign activities and student participation.

The six counties in the Central Mountains RETAC (Chaffee, Eagle, Lake, Park, Pitkin, and Summit) experienced 17 traffic fatalities in 2010, 10 (59%) of which were unbelted.  Studies show that if all 10 had been properly restrained, nearly half of them might have survived the crash.

“Seat belts are the single most effective thing you can do to prevent injuries or death in a crash.  That’s why we hope that holding this challenge will remind everyone, including adults, to take two seconds to buckle up,” said Robinson.

About the Central Mountains RETAC:
The Central Mountains Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council (CMRETAC) is a group of highly skilled professionals that ensure quality systems of emergency, medical, and trauma care for patients within Chaffee, Eagle, Lake, Park, Pitkin, and Summit Counties.  The primary goal of the CMRETAC is saving lives.