XENIA — Four Greene County schools recently won the Allstate Seat Belt Challenge.
One hundred percent of Beavercreek, Cedarville, Fairborn and Greene County Career Center (GCCC) student drivers were buckled during a seat belt check conducted by the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition this fall.
“Wearing your safety belt is the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself,” State Highway Patrol Sgt. John Chesser, Xenia Post, said at a check presentation at the GCCC. “Over the 22 years that I’ve worked I’ve had to investigate many crashes that resulted in injuries, fatalities … That’s why as a law enforcement officer I aggressively look for seat belt violations. We tell everybody to buckle up every trip, every time.”
Winning schools received $250 each, provided by the Allstate Foundation and Agent Scott Pauley.
This marks the seventh time Fairborn High School has reported 100 percent of its student drivers buckled-up.
“It’s all about safety … it’s proven that when you wear a seat belt, you’re more likely to survive a crash,” Former School Resource Officer Jim Hern said in a previous interview. “Our main goal is to keep the kids safe and healthy and [keep them] in school.”
The school once chose not to participate in the challenge in a previous round to allow another school the opportunity to win. However, district officials reported that 100 percent of students were buckled during that time.
Hern, alongside Physical Education Teacher Jake Dysinger, would watch student drivers pull away from the grounds every day after the final bell rings. They highlighted that the habit is so embedded into their routines that some will even pull the belt away from their chest to show them that it is fastened.
“The good habits are being passed down to younger drivers,” Dysinger previously said. “When kids wear seat belts, they turn into adults who wear seat belts.”
Hern highlighted during the seatbelt challenge check presentation held in April 2019 that neighboring districts were following closely behind Fairborn High School’s 100 percent buckled-up rate, and recognized that other schools are gunning after Fairborn High School’s success.
However, he emphasized that having more Greene County students buckled is a good thing.
“We’re leading by example,” Hern said. “We’re raising the bar everywhere.”
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