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DECA Reminds Students to Buckle Up

By Lindsay Pugh

DECA Member Chelsea Saunders promotes seat belt safety by reminding students “Don’t Be A Dum Dum!”

DECA’s seat-belt campaign began with a tragedy. Last year, a PGHS graduate, who had been a DECA member, died in a car accident. He was not wearing a seatbelt. After several other accidents in the surrounding areas, DECA began planning their campaign. Officers Amanda Terry, Dominique Walker, and Malik Keaton collaborated with Officer Butch Pearson, who promotes the Virginia Buckle Up Challenge.

“Thus, the DECA Buckle Up For Life Campaign began,” DECA sponsor Kim Beales said.

DECA’s initial research revealed 90% of motorists agreed seatbelts served an important role in safety, but only 14% wore them every single time they got into a vehicle.
They conducted a survey of students’ seatbelts use as they left the parking lot. Out of 278 students, 20% of drivers and passengers did not buckle up.

“Though a DECA officer team is in charge of the activities, we encourage all of our members to at least attend [or] participate in an activity,” Beales said.

Members participate by creating signs for advertising, taking surveys, and holding signs up to cars as they pull out of the parking lot, and most recently, helping promote the lollipop campaign.

“The lollipop campaign is one of the many things we do to remind students to put on their seat belts before they leave the school parking lot,” Beales said.

Members leave Dum-Dums on parked cars with reminders on the stem to buckle up.

The Buckle Up For Life campaign is going even further than the high school and heading into the county’s elementary schools.

“We are currently writing a book informing students to wear their seat belts. We hope to go to schools and read them to students and then let them color them and take them home to parents,” Beales said.

To keep up with the technology familiar to most students, DECA is also creating a phone app, hopefully a game. DECA’s goal is prevent any other students from dying such preventable deaths.

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