Play Football Without a Helmet? Drive Without a Seatbelt?

October 10, 2012 by Julie Montanaro

Football players at a Tallahassee high school are now trying to tackle a deadly problem.

They have been lining up on Tharpe Street in front of Godby High all week encouraging drivers to "strap it up" when they get behind the wheel.

These Godby Cougars have been lining up before and after school to try to encourage teen drivers to strap on their seatbelts before hitting the road, just as they strap up their helmets before hitting the field.

"Just as dangerous as it is on the football field without strapping it up is the same way it is in a vehicle, if not more so," linebacker Luke Helms said.

"Do you dare go on the field without a helmet strapped on?"

"No, never," said offensive lineman Jonathan Mundinger. "Being on the line, your head is getting hit first on almost every down."

The Strap it Up campaign kicked off this week. It's a chance for these very visible and vocal young men to get other teens' attention.

"I think they take it a little better peer to peer than from an adult," kicker Tryton Johnson said.

Stats show that teens have the lowest seat belt usage of any age group and only 65% of them admit to buckling up consistently in both the driver and passenger seat.

Stats show that young men are less consistent about it than young women.

So these Godby football players are hoping this seatbelt strongarm will be a game changer for fellow students and strangers.

"We want everyone to be safe, get home safe, without getting in any wrecks," linebacker Corey Presley said.

The guys at Godby are hoping this campaign will spread to other teams in town and even beyond.

Students designed a logo for the "Strap It Up" campaign and are building a web site too.


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