Maya Foxall

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Buckle up, Arizona: Students promote back seat safety belts

BUCKEYE – A community-wide campaign to promote seat belt safety among young drivers and their passengers was spearheaded by high school students. The campaign, and the future bill, got its start as a class assignment for Verrado High School senior Ambar Silverio.

“It’s really hard to pass a bill, and a bill can die for a lot of reasons,” said Erin Eisen, who teaches the advanced placement government class. The assignment was intended to teach students to understand how politics are a part of the legislative process.

Silverio created the Buckle Up V-H-S campaign after several students were involved in car accidents. During a month-long campaign, she worked with classmates to get students to pledge to buckle up when they are back seat passengers. The group also worked with Buckeye Police Department to get donations and use a portable traffic sign to get the message out to drivers.

The campaign got the attention of a local state representative as well. Silverio and her classmates are now working with Sen. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix, to create a bill which would require the use of rear seat belts. They hope to have the bill introduced during the next state legislative session.

Next year, banners will be hung on light poles in Verrado High School’s parking lots, encouraging school-wide seat belt safety. The students hope that the campaign will have a lasting impact.

“We hope that future generations will understand this message and how important it is,” Silverio said.

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Video by Gabriella Bachara/Cronkite News

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