Seat Belt Race Shows Safety Can Be Fun

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Trying to teach teens about seat belt safety might start sounding like a broken record, unless some good ol' competition is involved.

Eighth graders at French Middle School in Topeka competed against each other Friday morning in a police car seat belt relay.

Two students raced to get their seat belts on correctly in a series of heats, all to stress the vital role seat belts play everyday.

Topeka Police Officers are trying to boost the number of middle school-aged kids who buckle up every time they are in a car.

School Resource Officer Mark Hilt said the races are a fun way to raise awareness and make clicking the seat belt more fundamental.

"We're finding out in Shawnee County we're only running about a 70 percent compliance rate at this age level, and that's just far too low for us," Hilt said. "We do realize everybody forgets from time to time to get that seat belt on, but that one time you forget could be pretty serious and have some consequences."

So far the seat belt races have gotten an enthusiastic response from the eighth graders. The other grades at French will probably get their turn in the police car next.