CDOT urges Den­ver teens to take seat­belt self­ies

The Denver Post - - ROUNDUP - By Joella Bau­mann

Colorado trans­porta­tion of­fi­cials don’t just want teens wear­ing their seat­belts; they want them to Snap about it as well.

The Colorado De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion will launch a new Snapchat con­test, called Seat Belt Schooled, which aims to in­crease seat­belt use among teens while en­cour­ag­ing some friendly com­pe­ti­tion be­tween schools. The safe driv­ing cam­paign will in­clude 30 Den­ver high schools.

“Don’t Snap and drive,” cam­paign spokesman Sam Cole said. “Do use the fil­ter as a way to com­mu­ni­cate about the im­por­tance to friends of al­ways buck­ling up.”

Seat Belt Schooled will run Mon­day through Sept. 22. CDOT this week gave stu­dents scented, dou­blesided air fresh­en­ers that fea­ture a unique Snap­code to join the con­test on the front with con­test rules and belt-fo­cused safety mes­sages on the back. CDOT hopes th­ese will re­mind teens to buckle up when they drive.

“Mo­tor vehicle crashes are the lead­ing cause of death among teens, but if we could get more teens to buckle up, we could re­duce those fa­tal­i­ties,” Cole said in a state­ment. “By com­bin­ing high school spirit with so­cial media, our hope is that Seat Belt Schooled will en­gage with teens through their pre­ferred style of com­mu­ni­ca­tion while en­er­giz­ing them to es­tab­lish safe driv­ing habits for life.”

On Sept. 25, the school with the most shared Snaps us­ing their school-spe­cific fil­ter will be an­nounced as the win­ner via a Snap from CDOT’S Snapchat and on its Face­book page. That school will also be awarded the Colorado Cham­pi­onship Belt, a tro­phy that com­bines a cham­pi­onship boxing /wrestling belt with a seat­belt, dur­ing a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion by Cole.

Seat Belt Schooled will be ac­com­pa­nied by a so­cial media cam­paign that in­cludes in­for­ma­tion such as the in­creased penalty teen driv­ers can face if they or their pas­sen­gers aren’t wear­ing their seat­belt — $62 and two points off their li­cense.

“Cam­paigns like this one have proved to be the most ef­fec­tive way to cut fa­tal­i­ties,” Cole said. “They’ve dropped 50 per­cent since the early 2000s.”

For more teen driv­ing tips and re­sources, visit CDOT.

In­ter­ested in see­ing some self­ies? Add the user ‘Seat­belt­con­test’ to your friend’s list on Snapchat.

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