UVCC students celebrate with Click It or Ticket event


By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – Upper Valley Career Center celebrated Mayz Dayz, the school’s field day, on Thursday, May 25.

During the event, the Miami County Safe Communities Coalition, local law enforcement, and Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC) partnered together to kick off 2023’s Click It or Ticket Campaign.

UVCC students were able to participate in activities with coalition members and local law enforcement. Students were able to compete with law enforcement officers through cornhole. A competition, the quick belt challenge, was held to determine who could buckle up the fastest. Competitors started at the front of the vehicle on the passenger and driver’s side. They had to race around the back of the vehicle to the opposite side, get inside the vehicle, close the door, and buckle up. According to Vicky Knisley-Henry, a Miami County Safe Communities Coalition member representing Miami County Public Health, the quickest rate at the time was 7.52 seconds.

“That time is spreading and encouraging other students to come and beat it,” said Knisley-Henry.

The coalition held a seatbelt challenge for local high schools throughout the year, where the number of students wearing their seatbelts coming to school was recorded. Tippecanoe High School was the winning school with 98.9% of students wearing a seatbelt, according to a press release.

Upper Valley Career Center had an increase in seat belt usage of 22.5% in one year jumping from 77% in 2022 to 94% in 2023. Knisley-Henry commented, “It’s amazing work that they’re doing here.”

A group of UVCC students received a grant in order to promote a safety topic for teens. The students chose to educate their peers on seat belt safety, which assisted in the increase of seat belt usage.

According to Knisley-Henry, the county’s seatbelt usage is “around 84%.”

Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said seat belt safety means “saving lives.” He mentioned the difficulties of responding to fatal crashes.

Knisley-Henry said, “It takes two seconds to buckle up.”

School Resource Officer Chase Underwood talked about being the “middle-man” between the students and law enforcement, “We’re able to educate them in a relaxed atmosphere.”

“To me, these kids are entering the real-world next year. We’re helping educate them and prepare them,” said Underwood.

The goal of the Click It or Ticket event is to raise awareness on seat belt safety along with reducing the possibility of injuries and fatalities, according to Knisley-Henry.

Knisley-Henry thanked the UVCC, the Sheriff’s Office, State Farm, and the coalition members. She also thanked Tempo Wood Products for creating the plaque for the seatbelt challenge winner, Tippecanoe High School. Finally, she thanked the community, all the school resource officers, and local law enforcement for their support in the programs.

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