Members of BAYouth, Barrington High School’s chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions, were out in full force early Tuesday morning, Oct. 23, trying to remind their peers about the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
It was the annual fall campaign designed to convince all student drivers to wear their seat belts -- or possibly die in a crash like the one that killed a Barrington teen, Jon Converse, about five years ago who was not wearing the safety belt. See the video above of Converse's father, Dan, talking about his son's crash in front of a State Police simulator brought to the school two years ago.
This year, the group conducted a visual check of all vehicles entering the school parking lots starting at 7 am, said Kathy Sullivan, program manager for The BAY Team, Barrington's substance abuse prevention coalition.
The students created posters and also appeared on the Sunrise show with a message for all, “Buckle Up, Eagles!”
The safety message will also appear on the Booster Board on the corner of County and Federal Roads and on social media sites.
U.S. high school students have shown significant progress over the past two decades in improving many health-risk behaviors associated with the leading cause of death among youth — motor vehicle crashes, according to the 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So, there have been dramatic improvements during the past 20 years in seatbelt use. But some students still do not buckle up every time they get into a car.
According to the most recent Barrington Risk and Protective Survey, 68 percent of BHS students report that they always wear a seat belt, said Sullivan. That's still only about 2 out of 3.
"The BAYouth students would like to see that number rise to 100 percent," Sullivan said.