Eight Northern Colorado Schools Recognized for Seat Belt Improvements – EPHS awarded!

Nonprofit promoting vehicle safety awards $2,600.00 as part of 2016 campaign

Alexa’s Hugs on May 7 awarded a total of $2,600 to eight high schools in Larimer and Weld counties to mark their accomplishments for increasing seatbelt usage. Each of the eight schools, spanning six school districts, accepted the Seat Belt Challenge in fall 2015.

Staff and volunteers for Alexa’s Hugs conducted unannounced, anonymous seat belt observations at local high schools at the end of a school day. All passengers — parents and teens alike — were included in the observations at the beginning of the year. A leadership team in each school (FCCLA, FFA, PEERS or Student Council) then developed and carried out a plan to educate their peers about vehicle safety and encourage seat belt use and safe driving decisions. Another round of observations were conducted at the end of the school year. Across each of the 10 participating schools there was a total 11.5% improvement in seat belt usage.

“Research shows that youth mimic the driving behaviors that family members have modeled to them for years. When it comes to driving, that includes the good and the bad, so we want to focus on the positive and provide that encouragement for overall safe driving,” said Jona Johnson, co-founder and executive director of Alexa’s Hugs.

The Seat Belt Challenge is an annual program provided by Alexa’s Hugs, a local nonprofit founded after the death of Alexa Johnson in a 2013 crash along Interstate 25. The mission of the organization is to provide positive encouragement for seat belt and vehicle safety. Alexa’s Hugs collaborated with Safe Kids Larimer County to provide the program, with help from a Colorado Department of Transportation Grant. Funding for the monetary prizes has been provided by a grant from Ford Driving Skills for Life for the last two years.

“Peer to peer messaging has proven to be very successful in this seat belt challenge. We are thrilled with the results that we are seeing, always knowing that there is room for improvement.” said Tad Johnson, Alexa’s dad and co-founder of the non-profit. Here are the awards that were announced along with the impressive accomplishments of the winning schools. Please see attached photos and data analysis and use as desired with courtesy credit to Alexa’s Hugs. The winning video PSA created by students at Rocky Mountain High School can be found at https://youtu.be/M7jzpIA25jc. Additional information about Alexa’s Hugs is available online at www.alexahugs.com.

Best Video Public Service Announcement

  • Rocky Mountain High School – $500

Most Improvement in Seat Belt Usage

  • Highland High School (25.5% improvement) – $500
  • Rocky Mountain High School (19.6% improvement) – $200
  • Estes Park High School (15.8% improvement) – $100
  • Greeley West High School (12.0% improvement) – $100
  • Loveland High School (11.8% improvement) – $100
  • Mountain View High School (11.2% improvement) – $100
  • Thompson Valley High School (11.1% improvement) – $100

Highest Seat Belt Usage

  • Rocky Mountain High School (88.4% seat belt usage) – $500
  • Loveland High School (86% seat belt usage) – $200
  • Estes Park High School (84.9% seat belt usage) – $100

Zero Cell Phone Distractions

  • Roosevelt High School (no drivers were using cell phones at spring observation) – $100

Read the Trail Gazette article