By Jordan Green
MIAMI COUNTY — The 2022 Seat Belt Challenge has recently been completed, and this year’s winner was Tippecanoe High School with 96.8% of students wearing their seat belts.
The challenge is conducted by the Safe Communities Coalition. According to Miami County Public Health, Safe Communities of Miami County was created to establish a partnership of individuals from the local health department, law enforcement, the Miami County Parks District, county engineers, schools, businesses, and community organizations to collaborate on creating awareness and prevention of death and injuries caused by traffic crashes.
For two weeks, coalition members go to local high schools and tally the number of students wearing seat belts as they arrive for school.
Tippecanoe High School had 241 students wear them and only eight students who did not. Tipp City also won the challenge in 2019.
This is the sixth year the Seat Belt Challenge has been done in the Miami County. Although, it was skipped in 2020 due to COVID-19 related lockdowns.
“Our hope is to increase seat belt usage rates and decrease injuries/fatalities associated with vehicle crashes,” said Vicky Knisley-Henry, the Safe Communities coordinator for Miami County Public Health.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported four fatalities as a result of not wearing seat belts in 2021.
As the winners of the 2022 contest, Tippecanoe High School will receive a banner to hang in their school and their name will go on the travelling plaque given to each year’s winners.
“And [they get] bragging rights,” said Knisley-Henry.
The rest of the annual Seat Belt Challenge results include the following:
• Troy Christian: 259 wore seat belts, 11 did not, 270 total students surveyed, 95.9% seat belt usage
• Piqua: 236 wore seat belts, 62 did not, 298 total students surveyed, 79.2% seat belt usage
• Miami East: 238 wore seat belts, 9 did not, 247 total students surveyed, 96.4% seat belt usage
• Covington: 27 wore seat belts, 15 did not, 252 total students surveyed, 94% seat belt usage
• Bethel: 78 wore seat belts, 10 did not, 88 total students surveyed, 88.6% seat belt usage
• Bradford: 373 wore seat belts, 52 did not, 425 total students surveyed, 87.8% seat belt usage
• Newton: 288 wore seat belts, 51 did not, 339 total students surveyed, 85% seat belt usage
• Troy: 246 wore seat belts, 58 did not, 304 total students surveyed, 80.9% seat belt usage
• Tipp City: 241 wore seat belts, 8 did not, 249 total students surveyed, 96.8% seat belt usage
• Milton Union: 130 wore seat belts, 14 did not, 144 total students surveyed, 90.3% seat belt usage
• Upper Valley Career Center: 240 wore seat belts, 73 did not, 313 total students surveyed, 76.7% seat belt usage