Battle of the Belts

By Brennan Smith

May 1, 2012 Updated May 2, 2012 at 3:31 AM EDT

Town of Windsor, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Teenagers are less likely to fasten their seat belts than any other age group.

A competition brings two schools together to try to change that.

"You've got to jump into the car, slide it across, grab as you're sliding, and buckle it really quick," said Windsor High School student Bridgette Beavers.

A life-saving skill is put to the test as students compete to see what team can buckle up the fastest.

Referees timed teams from Windsor and Chenango Valley High Schools, to see how long it would take for each member to buckle up in each seat of an SUV.

"It's really just pure determination. You've got to be agile and quick with the buckle, and you've really got to believe in what you're doing," said Chenango Valley High School Student Molly Hull.

The fastest group was able to achieve this feat in under 37 seconds.

Organizers hope the competition will get students to race to buckle up every time they get into a car.

Kevin Morrissey says failing to do so changed his life 30 years ago.

"The lady who was driving the car fell asleep drunk, crossed the line and slammed into us, and I flew to the front of the vehicle from the back of the vehicle because I wasn't wearing a seat belt," said Kevin Morrissey from the Town of Windsor.

State Police demonstrated the force of just a seven-mile-per-hour crash.

Students had to wear a seat-belt to experience it, and they say the exercise is enough to persuade them to buckle up.

"Just feeling the force from that, I just can't imagine going at least twenty miles per hour or faster than that, 75. I'm definitely going to wear my seat belt. I don't even want to think about going through that windshield," said Chenango Valley High School Student Nicole Mayville.

"Like I said when I spoke, if I could just help one person to avoid what I've had to go through the last thirty years, it's well worth it," said Morrissey.

Failing to wear a seat-belt is a primary offense.

This means officers can pull you over if you're not buckled up, and you can be fined more than a hundred dollars.