MALDEN, MO - Battle of the Belt, a high school seat belt challenge, kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 13 in Malden, Mo (near New Madrid). This year, Ford Driving Skills for Life has added a groovin' incentive to the project. Through a grant provided by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Ford Driving Skills for Life donated $20,000 worth of iTunes cards to be used as rewards for schools that sign up to be part of the challenge. Battle of the Belt is a statewide educational program where high schools compete against each other to increase seat belt use, save lives and reduce injuries.
Only 67 percent of Missouri teens buckle up, according to a 2011 survey, compared with 79 percent of Missourians and 85 percent of people across the nation. In 2010, 64 Missouri teens were killed in crashes where they were unbuckled.
WHO: Speakers will include:
- Leanna Depue, Chair of executive committee for Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety
- Trooper Clark Parrott, Missouri State Highway Patrol;
- Lieutenant John Davis, City of Cape Girardeau Police Department
- American Family Insurance representative
- Charlie Thacker, Lincoln Lacy Ford Motor Company
- Taylor Rice, Malden High School student
WHEN: Tuesday, September 13 at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Lincoln Lacy Ford Motor Company, located at 2774 North Douglas in Malden, Mo.
WHY: Malden High School had one of the lowest seat belt use rates in the 2010 survey of Missouri high schools. Their usage rate among teens was just 34 percent.
Media Note: Interviews are available Tuesday, September 13 following the news conference.