CLEARWATER — Members of the Clearwater Police Department's AmeriCorps and Countryside High School SADD Club teamed up this week in an educational campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of driving without seatbelts. Called the Battle of the Belts, student drivers leaving the high school parking lot on Tuesday afternoon were stopped to see if they're wearing a seatbelt.
Students wearing their seatbelt were treated to a “Smarties” candy while those not wearing a seatbelt were handed a “Dum Dums” sucker. Countryside is one of five high schools in Pinellas County participating in the annual competition. Countryside’s SADD Club, which stands for Students Against Destructive Decisions, has about 60 members.
“Countryside High School's SADD Club promotes good decision-making, so we want to express the importance of wearing your seatbelt every time you get into a vehicle,” said Cathy Long, the police department's school resource officer.
Office Long (pictured) hands Caleb Feibus, a 12th grade student, a “Smarties” candy for wearing his seatbelt. Police reported that only a few “Dum Dums” suckers were passed out while officers and students ran out of “Smarties” candy.