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14-26 Countryside High Students Promote Seat Belt Safety

3/17/2014 3:09:17 PM

Contact: Rob Shaw

March 17, 2014

14-26

Countryside High School Students Stress Importance Of Seat Belts

(Assignment editors: Good visual opportunities tomorrow)

Before they leave the Countryside High School parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, student drivers will be stopped to see if they're wearing a seat belt.

If they are, they'll get Smarties candy.

If they're not, they will be handed a Dum Dums sucker.

It's all part of an educational campaign to increase student awareness of seat belts.

Members of the SADD Club at Countryside High School, along with the Clearwater Police Department's AmeriCorps members, are participating in the effort.

"Countryside High School's SADD Club promotes good decision-making, so we want to express the importance of wearing your seat belt every time you get into a vehicle," said Cathy Long, the police department's school resource officer there.

Students have put up posters around school to increase seat-belt awareness.

Countryside is one of five high schools in Pinellas County participating in the annual "Battle of the Belts" competition.

The awareness campaign is particularly important as the school district heads into spring break next week. That's a time when more and more students will be driving to more and more places.

Countryside High School has about 2,200 students; about 300 of those drive to and from school.

The SADD Club stands for Students Against Destructive Decisions. Countryside's version has about 60 members.

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WHAT: Battle of the Belts at Countryside High School

WHERE: 3000 State Road 580, at the corner of State Road 580 and McMullen Booth Road

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (media please arrive no later than 1:15 on the west side of the school by the auditorium)

WHY: To increase student awareness and involvement of seat belt usage

(Note: If the weather continues to be questionable Tuesday, which is unlikely, the event will be postponed to another day.)

******************************************

Rob Shaw

Office: 727-562-4333

Cell: 727-224-7831

Media Line: 727-562-4101

Rob.Shaw@myclearwater.com