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Event date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013, from 8:40 AM to 8:40 AM

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Challenge Aimed to Increase Seatbelt Usage, Safety;
Supported with State Farm Grant


Media Contacts:        Lori Schmidt, Scottsdale Fire Dept.   

                                              480-272-1710 office or firepio@scottsdaleaz.gov 


Four Scottsdale high schools competed this school year to increase seatbelt usage and encourage safe driving habits amongst teens.  The Scottsdale Seatbelt Challenge was coordinated by Scottsdale Fire Department and supported by grant funds from State Farm.


More teenagers and young adults die in traffic crashes than from any other cause — and seat belt non-use is a major factor.  Last year in the United States — and every year for the past decade — between 5,000 and 6,000 teenagers were killed in motor vehicle accidents. This same demographic also has the lowest seatbelt use rate. Each year, seatbelt non-use accounts for more deaths among this age group. Studies estimate that using a seatbelt reduces the risk of death or serious injury by 40 to 60 percent.


SUSD schools Coronado, Arcadia and Desert Mountain and CCUSD school Cactus Shadows participated in the program. A student group from each school created messages and designed awareness initiatives for their peers.  These included special presentations, PSAs, crash demos and other driver activities tailored to their student population in order to maximize participation and results.  Three seatbelt observations were conducted throughout the school year to determine if their efforts made an impact on fellow students’ driving behaviors.  


Based on the results of these efforts, the schools were ranked and will receive funds from the State Farm grant to support their organization goals going forward.

1.       Coronado High School - Healthcare Occupations Students of America

2.       Cactus Shadows High School - Students Against Destructive Decisions

3.       Arcadia High School  - Student Government

4.       Desert Mountain High School  - Student Government


“We are very proud to have worked with these special students in the effort to raise awareness for safe driving and increase seatbelt usage to save lives,” says Scottsdale Fire Chief Tom Shannon. “When teens are involved in vehicle crashes, it is devastating to families and the school community. We appreciate their commitment to safety.”


Scottsdale Fire, Police, Youth and Family Services, and Transportation departments supported the one-year program with partnerships with Rural/Metro, Native Air, PMT Ambulance, Scottsdale Healthcare, Messingers Mortuary, All-City Towing and Community Bridges.