Palmyra students realize the importance of buckling up - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Palmyra students realize the importance of buckling up

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PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) - Who says you can't change a teenager's mind? Palmyra High School beat out more than 20 schools in Northeast Missouri during a competition for overall seat belt usage.

The number of students wearing their seat belts at Palmyra High School is now at 99 percent, up from the 59 percent that was reported last year. The school just recently learned it received 'highest overall seat belt usage' and 'most improved' for the 2013 'Battle of the Belt' campaign.

"Teens are the most likely to be unbelted than any other class," School Resource Office Aaron Johnson said. "It was very important to us to try and get that instilled in them that we have to start wearing it now instead of wait until later."

When the campaign started on October 1, students were asked to sign a pledge card, vowing to wear their seat belt at all times.

Meanwhile, Johnson was there to make sure they were living up to their commitment.

"We'll set in a vehicle that's not marked or another vehicle of some kind and check students as they come in or out of school," Johnson said.

Senior Anna Martin is evidence that the extra enforcement is paying off. Martin says it's now become second nature for her to buckle her seat belt.

"Even if somebody runs a stop sign, you could get hit and wearing your seat belt could definitely save you from that," Martin said.

Senior Emily Bross has that same mentality when she gets in her car. There's no question about it, Bross says she's buckling up.

"We're all so young and we have a lot of life ahead of us so why risk that by something as simple as putting a seatbelt on," Bross said.

Palmyra High School will now receive $1,000 for taking the top honors during the challenge. The high school will officially receive its gold banner next Friday.

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