The challenge, accepted by 10 high schools from Estes Park to Fort Collins to Greeley and Weld County, is sponsored and administered by Alexa’s Hugs, a Loveland-based nonprofit which is dedicated to seat belt and vehicle safety.
The organization gave out $2,600 to the various high schools, as well as awards for no cell phone distractions, most improved seat belt use and highest rate of seatbelt use, according to an Alexa’s Hugs news release.
To do that, Alexa’s Hugs staff monitored each high school’s parking lot after school — once in the fall of 2015 and once this spring — watching for seatbelt usage and other safe driving characteristics among students and parents
Highland High School in Ault earned the award for most improved, going from a rate of 56.3 to 70.6 percent of drivers wearing seat belts between the fall and spring.
Highland earned $500 for the improvement.
Roosevelt High School in Johnstown had no issues with cell phone distractions, earning that school $100.
Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins had the highest rate of seat belt usage, at 88.4 percent
But Greeley West had the highest rate in Weld County, at 80.1 percent.
Alexa’s Hugs was started in 2013, named for Alexa Johnson, a 2012 Loveland High School Graduate who died in a crash in the Weld County portion of I-25 in February 2013. Alexa’s stepmom, Jona Johnson, and dad, Tad Johnson, operate the nonprofit, calling it a positive way to talk about Alexa.
Jona said Alexa wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was sleep deprived, driving at 2 a.m., going too fast and using her cell phone.
“One decision could have saved her from all of those other errors, and that was her seatbelt,” Jona said.