Click Clack Front and Back

How many students heard the message of your project?

Estimated percentage of your student body?

Who has your project aimed to reach?
Freshman class| Sophomore class| Junior class| Senior class| School professionals| Parents| Community at large| Other State of New Jersey

Clearly state the objective of your project. 

Our objective is to continue with the work about increasing the compliance of teens, adults, and all passengers wearing seat belts in front and rear seats. This year’s focus was primarily on the rear seat. We are grateful to continue to work with Senator Schepisi from District 39 on the Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Rear) change for New Jersey, who introduced on January 9, 2024, Bill S2125, a carry-over of S3323 introduced in the Senate and referred to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee Bill.  On the same day, Assemblyman Auth from District 39 and Assemblyman Bergen from District 26 introduced companion Bill A433, a carry-over of A5163 introduced to the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Public Safety and Preparedness Committee. We consulted with the Oakland Police Traffic Safety Officer, Steven Albert, on other topics he thought we should focus on based on what he had seen in the community as we planned to visit the Oakland Elementary and Middle Schools.  He suggested the following topics: digital distractions, road safety, seat belt safety, and bicycle and pedestrian safety. We planned to do this with Officer Albert and EZRide.

Our motto, “Click-Clack Front and Back,” is symbolic of us trying to get people to understand that no matter where you are in the car – front or back you have to wear your seat belt. All passengers need to be properly restrained: it’s the law, but more importantly, it can have an impact on saving lives, as Alexa says in our video advocating for S2125/A433 that was sent to local communities of Franklin Lakes, Oakland, and Wyckoff (FLOW) police, fire, first aid, mayors, town-council members and chambers of commerce for each town respectively to garner support for Click Clack Front and Back’s resolution to help move the bills along on the state level. “The passengers in the back seat deserve to be as protected as the passengers in the front seat.”

Describe your project and its implementation. 

Our efforts continued after we submitted our final project video and report last year. In May 2023, we Zoomed with Sangeeta Badlani about partnering with West Orange High School’s YAB. Assemblyman Bergen visited our school in a joint Students for Legal Justice and CCF&B meeting and signed onto Bill A5163. We met with Oakland’s then-Mayor Linda Schwager; she got Assemblyman Auth on the phone, who agreed to meet with us soon—presented before Oakland’s Town Council, which passed resolution 23-168. In June 2023, we had our end-of-year celebration, and Assemblyman Auth spoke about the bill, called Governor Murphy, and got him on FaceTime, applauding our efforts to help change the law. We had a Zoom meeting with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety to review what to expect for our Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) phone call meeting. On June 22, the last day of school, we spoke with the (OIRA) on the Rear Seat Belt Reminder System! In July 2023, the Superintendent recognized us in the Morning Brew. We wrote a LTE thanking Assemblyman Auth for his commitment to traffic safety and continued to post the weekly on our social media pages during the summer.

In September, we had an information table at back-to-school night, held our first meeting, participated in the service fair, and did our first seatbelt check with SADD. We participated in National Teen Driver Safety Week in October, with many guest speakers for our driver education classes. November Zoomed with Kate and worked on our T-shirt and senior parking lot video. December featured in 2024 Roadmap to Safety, press conference, and news article, started working on CCF&B’s resolution. January planned to visit elementary and middle school and partner with EZRide and Officer Albert. February/March: we mailed thank you letters to bill sponsors, finalized the resolution and planned the CCF&B fair. April Traffic Safety Fair and Senator Schepisi visited and suggested a visit to Trenton in May or June.

School/Community Engagement: 
How did you reach your student body and the community? (examples: connecting with nearby colleges, schools, local police departments, persons affected by teen crashes, local/county/state governments, and local businesses) 

Building upon the framework to have a culture of safety in our school and community, we have expanded our outreach in the following ways.  On the school level, we had the following guest speakers in our driver education classes: Mike McCormick-“What Do You Consider Lethal?” Roz Thompson-AAA Northeast presented Shifting Gears: The Blunt Truth About Marijuana and Driving. Kate O’Connor-BIANJ presented “Share the Road: Distracted Driving and Pedestrian Safety.” Ametra Burton-NJ Sharing Network-Organ Donation. Pat McCormick-Share the Keys. Officer Albert presented a session on impaired driving, including distractions, how to handle being pulled over, and a field sobriety test. We worked with our school’s Media Specialist, AP Social Studies teacher, and Tara Gill from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety to help club members learn how to write CCF&B’s first resolution. In April, we hosted our 3rd annual CCF&B Traffic Safety Thursday Lunch Fair, which had arts and crafts, a physics demonstration (courtesy of one of our physics teachers), a field sobriety test (conducted by one of our school’s favorite security guards), distracted driving info, a blue envelope program to alert law enforcement about the driver on the autism spectrum and since April is Autism Awareness Month, safe driving trivia with the ability to get some candy via our cute slogans, take the pledge. On a community level, we worked with Lindsey Smith from Oakland’s Chamber of Commerce, who secured gift cards from Frank’s Pizza for our Safe Driver of the Month Parking Spot winners. Our school’s PTSO donated three gift cards to Starbucks for the various activities students participated in at our fair. Along with Officer Albert and EZRide, we aspired to visit the elementary and middle schools as part of our community outreach to promote traffic safety; however, the timing did not work out this year. We are working to get the FLOW community groups we mentioned in a previous response to support our resolution.

What makes your project unique and engaging? How did you engage with other student groups to creatively spread your message? (Examples: create artwork, music, plays, unique campaign slogan/logos) 

We worked with the SADD club when doing the seatbelt check and creating a PSA on Impaired Driving. We held our Traffic Safety Fair on April 11 for the whole student body and staff, including trivia. Students had to get three correct and selected from our candy table with some of the following fun and creative slogans. Wear your seatbelt, be a LIFESAVER. If you don’t follow the rules of the road, you can KISS your license goodbye. Don’t be a DUM DUM (lollipops) always buckle up. Be a SMARTIE and drive safely,  KIT KAT Front and Back! CCF&B has Tips and TWIX for the road!

The song parody of Taylor Swift’s Cruel Summer is about senior parking safety after hearing about a few crashes early in the fall. Creative Tiktoks and PSAs Outside of our school, we are looking to partner with West Orange High School YAB and Burlington City High School YAB further to spread the word about Bills S2125/A433 and work with them to get support from state legislators in their districts to get bi-partisan support for the bills hopefully.

Show how you worked as a team in designing and implementing your project (examples: sign-in sheets at meetings, photos of the group working on tasks). 

The team completed the project by coming together in May and June 2023  after we submitted our final project to continue the work. Their efforts are highlighted in our response to how we executed our project. At the start of the new school year from   September 30, 2022-May 1, 2024, club members met approximately 20 times for our CCF&B meetings in person. Last year, three junior leaders returned to serve as the senior leaders, of which two of our three senior leaders are younger siblings of the founding members. The team has worked with enthusiasm, persistence, and vigor. This year, we have over 20 members: seniors, juniors,  and freshmen. The energy that this group exuded when working together was incredible! Throughout this process, I have learned the individual team member’s strengths and would go to them for help in their area of expertise when needed. Izzy, Gabby, and Alexa have continued as our stronger leaders. Junior member Sydney. continues to lead CCF&B Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Sami created this year’s t-shirt and helped with some of the videos. We have a phenomenal group of freshman boys who are willing to help out in any way. Each member has their strength, and I would like to mention each individually, but with a growing membership, there needs to be more space. Students also spend time outside meeting times working on PSAs to prepare our tri-fold displays for the 3rd annual Traffic Safety Fair.

Use of Research/Data: 
Show how you used local resources to help identify, deliver, assess, and present your project (Examples: local/statewide/national data.). 

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, in 2017-2018, 194 rear-seat passengers aged eight and older in New Jersey were involved in fatal crashes. This alarming and tragic number would undoubtedly be decreased with the primary enforcement of seat belts in rear seats. Nearly 60% of backseat passengers who were killed in a crash were unbuckled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motor vehicle crashes cost New Jersey over $14 billion annually, equivalent to a “crash tax” of $1,577 per resident, according to a 2019 NHTSA analysis, and crash costs are 55 percent higher for unbelted crash victims who incur medical bills compared with belted victims; unbelted rear passengers can be propelled out of their seat in a collision, posing a serious threat to the driver and other vehicle occupants as the odds of death for a belted driver seated directly in front of an unrestrained passenger in a serious head-on crash is 2.27 times higher than if the driver is seated in front of a restrained passenger and an unbelted rear seat passenger may strike the driver in a roadway incident resulting in loss of control of the vehicle and raising the risk for other road users;   These are some of the reasons that CCF&B is so passionate about getting the Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Rear) change and facts we have included in our resolution and email letter to the community stakeholders whose support for this bill we seek to partner with and gain bipartisan support for this bill as a lifesaver and money saver for New Jersey residents and individuals who travel through our beautiful Garden State.

Use of Media: 
Document how you used media in your project (examples: local radio, TV, newspapers, social media, websites, video, PSAs). 

We understood social media’s importance in spreading our message to the school and community. CCF&B was featured on Oakland TV on May 24, 2023, presenting to Oakland’s town council about the law with over 300 views. In July, the school superintendent featured CCF&B in his weekend weekly school update called Morning Brew, which highlighted Assemblyman Auth’s visit and getting Governor Murphy on FaceTime and Officer Albert’s visit for our end-of-year celebration. In July, we published a letter to the editor thanking Assemblyman Auth for his commitment to seatbelt safety. In December CCF&B was featured on page 16 in the 2024 Roadmap to Safety by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Shout Out during their news conference, and a news article highlighting their work.

We use our Instagram, to share videos, polls, and pledges.

We also promoted our safety message through Twitter-X

We provided updated information, including weekly posts, safety messages, and pictures of our meetings on our Facebook page

Our updated student-created Google website provided a wealth of information on this year’s campaign

To keep up with the times, we even created a TikTok @clickclackfrontback.

Our Promotion of S2125/A433, PSAs, and Final Project Summary are on YouTube.

We used our school’s LMS to share messages, polls, pledges, and a CCF&B poster Scavenger hunt with students to promote the U Got Brains-Champion Schools Program-Safe Driver of the Month parking sign spot for a deserving IHHS student driving to school.

All parents at IHHS received an e-blast message explaining our campaign, promoting our social media and website, and the Take the Pledge link. The Oakland Police Department has been the first to support our resolution on Facebook.

Evaluation and Impact: 
Describe how you measured the impact of your project (examples: pre/post observational studies, surveys, quizzes, interviews, etc.)   

In 2021, 699 people lost their lives on New Jersey roads. This is a more than 19% increase over 2020 (586 people were killed), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA reports that more than 52% of passenger vehicle occupants killed that year were unrestrained, when restrain use was known. This is an increase over 2020 (46% of passenger vehicle occupants killed were unrestrained, when restrain use was known).

Our project demonstrates an understanding of teen driving safety because wearing your seatbelt applies to all ages. Our research and polls show that many teenagers don’t wear belts in the front, back, or both seats. We wanted to participate in this project because we saw an issue in our community and worked together to solve it.

At our traffic safety fair, we had a physics demonstration proving that buckling your seatbelt in front and back seats is vital. We had a pre and post-survey that we asked participants to partake in. Our findings include the following. I clearly understand the relationship between inertia and how it helps to improve my ability to survive a crash if I wear a seatbelt in the rear (back) seat. Only 75% of those surveyed rated a 5. After viewing the demonstration, 100% of respondents indicated the importance of buckling in the rear seat. We plan to share this information with the NJ legislature.

How will your project have a lasting effect on your target group? 

Since our target group is all individuals who travel on the roadways in New Jersey in a vehicle, we believe there will be more lives saved when this law is passed. We are grateful to Senator Schepisi and Assemblyman Auth for their commitment to traffic safety and for continuing to sponsor Bills S2125/A433 Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Rear)  . We have had the opportunity to meet with each of them in person in the past year.  When the club members have had to meet and talk with them in person, it really drives home the significance of the important work that started in 2019 and continues today.  We realize that it took many years for the 50-hour law to pass, and we have and will continue to put in the work necessary to make the roadways safer in NJ.  Still, we want to see this through to the successful end of passing the law and helping NJ become the 21st state to make not wearing your seatbelt in the rear a primary offense, save lives, and decrease fatalities and severe injury due to one not wearing their seatbelt in the backseat. We realize there is more we can do for the community based on the suggestions Officer Albert made, and we included digital distractions, pedestrian safety, and parking lot safety based on what was going on in our senior parking lot at the beginning of the school year.  As an educator and mother of two soon-to-be seventeen-year-olds who will go for their road test at the end of June, I am not willing to give up on this, and neither are the students. Just as I want my children to be as safe on the roads in NJ, I want the same for my students and their families.

Unexpected Lessons Learned:
Describe any unintended results that came out of your project. 

Sometimes you learn that what you are doing does have a positive impact. A 2023 graduate of IHHS was involved in a crash when he first got his driver’s license and had more than one passenger in his car and some in the rear seat who were not wearing seatbelts. Fortunately, no one was killed; however, passengers in this car did sustain serious injuries due to the speed and not being restrained by a seatbelt in the rear seat. This specific incident caused some members to join CCF&B last year because their friends were personally impacted by the crash. Recently, the mother of this graduate has been following our Facebook page and giving the group positive feedback. Two of our senior leaders work in the local ShopRite. She mentioned to one of them that she would like to come and talk to the group about her son’s crash and that she thinks the work the group is doing is great and applauds their efforts advocating for traffic and seat belt safety. With a focus on creativity, I am looking for ways to incorporate the suggestions to create artwork, music, plays, and unique campaign slogans/logos into my Driver’s Education classes in the fall and even include some of the creative ideas in our monthly Safe Driver of the Month Parking spot winner contests. So, some of these creative ideas may lead to something larger that can be shared with the community. At the end of each school year, I reflect on my teaching, what I did well, what I tried that was new, what worked and did not, and aspirations for improving lessons or activities for my students.  I will do this as an advisor and ask CCF&B members to do the same to aid us in our plans for next year’s campaign. Thank you again for this program and for allowing the club members and me to continue growing our traffic safety advocacy.

Stipend Reporting:
Your school received a stipend to support your Champion School Teen Driving Safety Project. Additionally, any funds that you raised as a result of your project must be reinvested into transportation safety. The purpose of this report is to itemize expenditures for your project that were paid from the stipend

CCF&B Traffic Safety Fair $300.00
T-shirts $747.00
CCF&B Ad in IHTC Playbill-Fall/Spring $200.00
Total $1247.00