Statewide Buckle Up, Drive Sober Campaign Kicks Off at Virginia High Schools. James River High School was listed among the participating schools.
(Roanoke, VA)Thirty-three Virginia high schools will kick off a teen safe driving campaign this week to increase awareness about seat belt use and the state’s Zero Tolerance Law prohibiting alcohol use for minors. The three-week campaign, called “Buckle Up, Drive Sober” is designed to help teens develop life-long save driving habits. It is sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) and the Virginia State Police Association (VSPA).
During the three-week campaign, student groupsat each participating schoolwill develop a creative project that educates teens in their school about buckling up and driving alcohol and drug-free. The student groups will also be sponsoring a variety of awareness activities and encouraging their peers to sign a pledge promising to “Buckle Up and Drive Sober.” The theme for this year’s campaign is “Have a Heart, Drive Smart.” A list of participating schools is attached.
“This creative campaign encourages teens to develop a fun and unique project on seat belt use and impaired driving that will target the students at their school,” explained Mary King, YOVASO Program Administrator. “We want teens to take the lead and come up with messages that are teen-friendly and capture the attention of the student body.”
According to Virginia statistics, teens between the ages of 16 and 20 are less likely to buckle up when riding in a motor vehicle than other age groups. In 2010, 61% of the teens killed in crashes in Virginia were not wearing a safety belt. King said over 800 unrestrained teens have died on Virginia roads since 2000. In addition, 29% of the fatal teen crashesin 2010 involved alcohol. A total of 427 teens have died in alcohol-related crashes in Virginia since 2000, King said.
“If we can convince teens to buckle up and obey the state’s Zero Tolerance Law, we can save many young lives,” said King. “By giving teen’s a leadership role in developing the messages and the programs, we believe the campaign will have a much greater impact.”
The “Buckle Up, Drive Sober” Campaign will end on February 17. Campaign winners in the large school and small school divisions will be announced on February 24.The grand prize winner will be determined by the top finishing school with the highest seat belt usage during a survey conducted by an independent law enforcement agency and YOVASO staff.
For more information about the “Buckle Up, Drive Sober” Campaign or the YOVASO Program, call Mary King, Program Administrator, or Morgan McCarty, Program Development Coordinator at (540) 345-0003 or visit the website atwww.yovaso.net. YOVASO was formed in 2001 by the Virginia Highway Safety Office and membership is open to all Virginia high schools and middle schools. YOVASO currently has over 100 member schools.