WATSON – It had all the highlights of a high school sport.

Speed, quick moves, sharp pivots, coordination.

And plenty of laughs.

Live Oak High School hosted a “Rock the Belt” contest on Friday, March 3, attempting to answer that athletic question.

How fast can four students run between the four seats of a car and buckle the seatbelts, with each student doing all four seats?

“I’ve seen it done in under 30 seconds,” said Dylan Ivy, director of Livingston Parish Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), who was running the contest.

While the contest was fun to the students – the fastest time won a pizza party – the lesson offered was crucial, according to Ivy.

“We want to show students how little time it takes to buckle a seatbelt,” he said.

The challenge was simple: Four students stand by four orange cones. At the whistle, they race to get into one of the four seats of the VW Tiguan, buckle the seatbelt, then raise their hands.

Two observers, one of each side of the car, watch for the raised hands on their side, raising an orange flag signaling to the timer to stop the stopwatch.

When the whistle sounds again, the four unbuckle their seatbelts, get out and run clockwise around the car to their next seat and buckle up again.

After buckling up in all four seats, the time is added up for the team’s total time.

Sometimes a student went to the wrong seat. A few slipped trying to make a quick cut around the back of the vehicle.

“This is fun,” said English teacher Britney Knight, who was keeping track of the four-student teams and their times during the first lunch shift.

One team celebrated a 40.7 time, only to be edged by another team’s 39.1. Some teams asked, and got, a second try.

The winning team for the first lunch shift was Nate Bermes, Chloe Baumann, Emily Hooper and Justin Levatino, Knight said.

The winning team for the second lunch shift was Cameron Dickerson, Peyton Johnson, Brayden Betz and Eli Johnson, she said.

Ivy handled the whistle and one of the orange flags, while the other flag bearer was Jessica Bedwell, occupant protection coordinator for the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, which funds “Rock the Buckle.”

This is the second year that Livingston SADD has done the “Rock the Buckle,” Ivy said.

The group plans to visit six more high schools by Sept. 30, he said.


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