Hyde, who also teaches English at Thayer High School, worked with Kelly Martin from the Missouri Department of Transportation to bring the program to the school.
The first week of the program there was an unannounced seat belt check. "We found that only 44 percent of our student drivers and passengers were buckled up as they left the school parking lot," Hyde said.
The following five weeks proved to bring a big change to the young drivers at the school.
Driver educational programs, fliers, posters and advertisements provided by MoDOT along with other driver safety activities paid off.
"We raised our percentage of student drivers and passengers of student drivers who were buckled up from 44 percent to 74 percent at our last check. We are so proud of the increase in the percentage of students who are now buckled up. The cheerleaders did a great job with Battle of the Belt and they seemed pleased to be involved in such an important program," she said.
Hyde said MoDOT awards prizes on state and regional levels for the highest overall seat belt use rate and for the most improved seat belt use. "We are hopeful that Thayer High School will be recognized with one of these awards, but that is not what is important to us. More importantly, we are happy just to be a part of increasing seat belt awareness at our school," she said.
Battle of the Belt was designed to reduce the number of motor-related injuries and fatalities among high school students by increasing their seat belt use.