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It's 6 a.m. You wake up, get dressed and grab a bite to eat before you head out to your car. What comes next? If you're a student at an area high school your next step is to buckle your seat belt.
Recently the students of Notre Dame Regional High School won the regional award for Southeast Missouri as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation's Battle of the Belt Challenge. Across the state 155 schools participated in the challenge, including 38 schools in Southeast Missouri.
For the challenge, the number of students driving to school with their seat belt on was determined. At Notre Dame typically 91 percent of students are already using their seat belt at the challenge's start. At the end of the challenge the number of students wearing a seat belt is tallied again. This year 100 percent of Notre Dame students driving to school were using their seat belt at the end of the challenge. For their efforts American Family Insurance awarded the high school $500 to be used for student seat-belt educational programs.
Saxony Lutheran High School and Oran High School were also recognized for high rates of seat-belt usage. Bell City High School was commended for being the most improved.
Congratulations to the recognized high schools, and we commend the other area high schools for participating in the competition as well. Drivers who buckle up while they are young can establish a lifelong habit, one that may save their lives. And that's a lesson we should all learn.