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Battle of the Belts takes aim at Teen Driving Statistics

February 03, 2016

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In fact, teens have a higher fatality rate in motor vehicle crashes than any other age group. They have the lowest safety belt use rates of all drivers. This rate is even lower when there are multiple teens in the vehicle. The competition is extremely tough and deadly serious among the participating high schools, with the campaign focusing on five categories:  Best Poster, Best Public Service Announcement, Most Improved Seat Belt Compliance, Highest Seat Belt Compliance, and most prestigious of all, the Best Overall Campaign.

 This year, the Battle of the Belts Awards Ceremony was held on Wednesday, January 27th at Chamberlain High School in Tampa.  There were nine schools placing in the various divisions, led by Chamberlain (1st), Blake (2nd) and King (3rd) in the Best Overall Campaign category.  Also recognized were Steinbrenner (1st) and Chamberlain (2nd) in the Highest Seat Belt Compliance category; Middleton (1st) and Alonso (2nd) in the Most Improved Seat Belt Compliance category; Chamberlain (1st), Plant (2nd) and Tampa Bay Tech (3rd) in the Best PSA category.  In the Best Poster category, Newsome earned a 1st place, with Blake taking 2nd place, and King High School earned a “Special Merit” recognition.  Each of the winning teams received a part of the $5000 prize money that was awarded to participating schools by Geico. 

This competition, with all of the time, energy, and hard work invested in it by the students and schools, will hopefully result in a change in the deadly statistics that represent the effects of teen driving, and that safety belt use will increase among all students in Hillsborough County Public Schools.  Please enjoy a Flickr album of winners from the Awards Ceremony, and take the time to watch the winning Public Service Announcement from Chamberlain on YouTube.  For more information about the Battle of the Belts, visit the HCSO website at

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