Left to right: Isabella Discepolo, Amy Schultz, Danielle Lawrence, Jennifer Rongo, and Theresa Radeker

Tampa Bay/Hudson, Fl — Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point announces that it has awarded a $500 prize to the students of Fivay High School for the "most improved safety belt use" in the "Battle of the Belts."

"Battle of the Belts" promotes seatbelt use among teens. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In fact, when it comes to motor vehicle crashes, teens have the highest fatality rate of any age group. They also have the lowest safety belt use rates of all drivers. This rate is even lower where there are multiple teens in the vehicle. The "Battle of the Belts" program is an effort to change these statistics and increase safety belt use among teenagers with our partners Safe Kids of Pasco County.

Pasco County's campaign conducted at participating high schools with partners Safe Kids/Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. The goal was to have high school students convince their peers to wear their safety belts. Student organizations were encouraged to create a unique campaign for their high school to encourage fellow students to wear their seatbelts during every ride in a motor vehicle.

There were several award categories which included: Poster Contest won by Jessica Vernak, from Anclote High School; Essay Contest won by Tyler Riccardo from JW Mitchell High School; Public Service Announcement won by Anclote High School; Campaign Book won by JW Mitchell High and Battle of the Belt Champion for 2018, was Land O'Lakes High School.

The trauma center at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point sponsored the prize for the most improved seatbelt use. Fivay High School had the highest percent of increased safety belt use in Pasco County.