Battle of the belts

By Dave Sherry

May 1, 2013 Updated May 3, 2013 at 12:57 AM EDT

Windsor, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Students from Windsor, Whitney Point and Chenango Valley high schools participated in the Battle of the Belts to learn the importance of seat belts and avoiding distracted driving.

It involved a race where students run to each of the seats in a car and buckle up as quickly as possible.

They also sat in the "seat belt convincer," which demonstrates the effects of a seven mph collision, and they were asked to wear special goggles that simulated a field sobriety test while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Students had a chance to try texting while driving by using a simulator, as well.

"I think it really let's people know that texting and driving isn't OK. It's obviously a lot harder than we think," said Chenango Valley High School junior, Courtney Tester.

During the simulation, several students stopped in the middle of traffic, ran red lights and even hit other cars.

Organizers believe having a fun and relaxed style will be a more effective in teaching the students important lessons.

"With the convincers and things we have here, how important it is to wear a seat belt. In the relaxed environment, maybe they'll be more receptive," said Joseph Hommel, of the New York State Police.

Whitney Point High School won the Battle of the Belt with the fastest overall race time, but all of the students walked away with valuable, life-saving information.

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