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Three high schools to participate in “Put It Together” campaign

Three Loudoun County high schools will participate in the “Put It Together” challenge, which encourages students to buckle up for safety.

Participating in the Oct. 26-Nov. 2 event will be Heritage, Loudoun County and Tuscarora high schools.

The event, with the cooperation of the Leesburg Police Department and Virginia State Police, is to reach more students with the message than last year.

“We’re hoping by having this challenge coincide with Halloween, the students will unleash creativity, while at the same time heightening their awareness of the need to make safe, responsible driving a priority when it comes to holiday festivities,” said First Sgt. A.D. Blankenship, VSP Loudoun County Area commander in a prepared statement.

Leesburg PD and VSP launched the PIT challenge this spring. The program challenges high schools to compete with one another to see who can achieve the most student participation and increase seat belt usage among its population. Heritage High School won the May challenge.

This week’s campaign will also include a social media component to which high school can design the best PIT logo. Logo graphic submissions will be posted on the VSP Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/VirginiaStatePolice for the public to vote on the best one. Votes will be tallied by the number of “likes” accumulated per entry.

In addition, students will have a chance to have social media fans vote on which essay they feel best encompasses the meaning of the PIT challenge and importance of teens buckling up.

On Nov. 14, the overall winning school will be selected by a panel of judges based on a point-scoring process. AAA Mid-Atlantic and Mothers Against Drunk Driving are also PIT challenger partners.

According to VSP, more Loudoun County and Leesburg teens are buckling up for their safety. A recent survey conducted at Heritage, Loudoun County and Tuscarora high schools found that seat belt usage among the more than 2,900 high school students now ranges from 78 percent to 91 percent – an 18 percent increase from the 66.7 percent accounted for in May.

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