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Pascack Valley students compete for best in traffic safety

The Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention Section of the Department of Surgery at HackensackUMC recently hosted the 13th Annual High School Traffic Safety Challenge awards ceremony for its seatbelt program.

More than 200 student representatives and teachers from 23 Bergen County high schools attended. This program was developed by the Drive Smart Foundation and funded with a grant from State Farm.

“Programs like the High School Traffic Safety Challenge help bring the issues of distracted driving, drunk driving and the importance of wearing a seatbelt, to light and teach our younger drivers how they can use their brain to protect their body,” said Dr. John LoCurto, Jr., the associate chief of the trauma/surgical critical care unit.

“All of the schools that participated in the [challenge] are helping teens in our community become safer drivers and passengers by increasing seatbelt use and decreasing risky decision-making while driving,” said Meliam Gonzales, a registered nurse and trauma prevention coordinator at the hospital.

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PHOTO: Pictured are students and faculty from schools that were recognized for ‘Best Overall Seatbelt Usage’ and ‘Honorable Mention.’ On the far left stands Dr. John LoCurto and on the far right is registered nurse Meliam Gonzales, both representing the trauma prevention department at HUMC. PHOTO COURTESY OF HACKENSACKUMC.