Patrol urges students to buckle up this season

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

SOUTH POINT - It's that time of year again as high school students across Ohio pledge to &#8221Buckle Up for a Successful Season.“

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio High School Athletic Association have partnered in a community-level traffic safety effort to coincide with high school athletic events. The statewide partnership involves patrol posts across the state and nearly all of OHSAA's 833 member high schools.

&#8221We have partnered again with all the high schools in the area in an effort to ensure voluntary compliance in safety belt use by the students,“ Lt. Carl Roark, Ohio State Highway Patrol said. &#8221This year we are partnering with Honda.“

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The program is intended to remind and encourage student-athletes, coaches, cheerleaders, band members and fans to buckle up when going to school, practices and games.

&#8221Buckle Up for a Successful Season“ banners have been distributed to all OHSAA member high schools in the area for display throughout the season at stadiums and other locations.

At many of the schools, the students have signed the banners as part of their pledge to buckle their safety belt every time.

&#8221At most of the home football games a trooper will make an announcement about the ‘Buckle Up for a Successful Season' program and encourage those attending to wear their safety belts,“ Lt. Roark said.

In conjunction with the program, locally, Steve Ceilic owner of McDonald's and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office have also partnered with the OSHP. They will be giving out coupons at schools and other places in the county to reward those residents who have buckled up.

&#8221I think that's a huge effort on his part to help us with safety,“ Lt. Roark said.

&#8221Buckle Up for a Successful Season“ consists of sustained messages that bring continuity and awareness to the importance of safe driving.

The program will include stadium banners, in-game public address announcements, school announcements, assembly presentations, media events, printed articles and other material that will come out throughout the football season and into the winter and spring sports.

The program also incorporates the successful &#8221What's Holding You Back?“ safety belt campaign that has contributed to raising safety belt usage significantly statewide.

Ohio belt usage reached an all time high of 74.7 percent during the most recent survey.

&#8221This is another innovative program that can help us save lives by getting students to wear their safety belts,“ Lt. Roark said.