- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

SALEM, Va. (AP) - More than 60 high schools and middle schools in Virginia are participating in a campaign to increase seat belt use among teens and youth.

The four-week challenge is called “Save Your Tailgate, Buckle Up & Slow Down.” It’s aimed at encouraging young people to develop a lifelong habit by emphasizing that seat belts are designed to protect and save lives. It also focuses on speed prevention.

In 2016, more than half of the 71 teens killed in crashes in Virginia were not wearing seat belts.

Students at participating schools will develop a creative event designed to influence their schoolmates to buckle up and slow down. The campaign also includes educational events at football games.

The campaign is funded by a grant from Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office.

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