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Member News -- Hackensack Meridian Rewards Bergen ..

The Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention Section of the Department of Surgery at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center recently hosted the 15th Annual “High School Traffic Safety Challenge” seatbelt program awards ceremony. Student representatives and teachers from 20 Bergen County high schools participated in the spring challenge. This program was developed by the Drive Smart Foundation and funded with a grant from State Farm.

“I am extremely proud of all the schools that participate annually in the Traffic Safety Challenge,” said Meliam Gonzales, MSN, RN, trauma prevention coordinator and clinical educator at Hackensack University Medical Center.  “The focus of the program is to help teens in our community become safer drivers and passengers by increasing seatbelt use, in the front and back seats, and decreasing risky behavior, such as texting and/or talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving.”

The winners of the Spring High School Traffic Safety Challenge are as follows:

Most Improved Overall Percent of Seatbelt Usage

1st Place – Rutherford School with an increase of 14 percent

2nd Place – Bogota High School with an increase of 8 percent

3rd Place – Leonia High School with an increase of 7 percent

Honorable Mention – Midland Park High School with an increase of 6 percent

Most Improved Front Passenger Seatbelt Usage

1st Place – Elmwood Park High School with an increase of 15 percent

2nd Place – Dumont High School with an increase of 7 percent   

Most Improved Back Passenger Seatbelt Usage

1st Place – Palisades Park High School with an increase of 12 percent

2nd Place – Saddle Brook High School with an increase of 8 percent

High schools maintaining an overall average of 90 percent or above seatbelt use

Immaculate Conception High School, 99 percent

Indian Hills High School, 99 percent

Immaculate Heart Academy, 97 percent

Ramapo High School, 97 percent

Emerson High School, 94 percent

Park Ridge High School, 92 percent

Cliffside Park High School, 91 percent

Riverdell High School 90 percent


Poster Winners

Elmwood Park High School

Lyndhurst High School

Saddle Brook High School


Continued commitment to trauma prevention and community education

Bergenfield High School

Fort Lee High School

New Milford High School

Lyndhurst High School

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