Students in Columbia County buckle up for seat belt awareness competition

Published: Feb. 14, 2020 at 6:12 AM EST
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Two North Central Florida high schools went head to head to raise awareness for seatbelts.

Columbia and Fort White High Schools are competing in the battle of the belts competition over the next couple of months.

The Florida Department of Transportation said Columbia County ranks the worst in the state for counties of a similar size in seat belt usage.

“A simple thing can make a big difference as to whether you live or die! Buckling up is pretty simple,” said Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter. “I encourage all students to buckle up and help your school win!”

Officials have performed preliminary surveys at the school. After months of outreach and education, this competition included, the students will be tested again.

“There are dozens of excuses for not buckling up,” said Greg Evans, FDOT District 2 Secretary. “Seatbelts are uncomfortable; I’m just going down the road, there’s no need to buckle up; they wrinkle my clothes – we’ve heard them all. But the one fact is this – seatbelts save lives.”

The school with the most growth will be crowned the 2020 “Battle of the Belts” champion.