Teens buckle up for safety, and win

A team of speedy Merrimack High School students proved they can buckle up with the best of them.

Kayleigh Wallace, Kelsey Peabody, Kile O’Brien and Sara Cummings earned the fastest time in this year’s safety belt challenge, a contest designed to show teens the importance of seat belts and how quick and easy it is to fasten them.

The event, in its 16th year, is sponsored by the state’s highway safety agency, Department of Education, two police associations and the New Hampshire Drivers Education Teachers Association. Students from across the state compete locally. The top finishers – including Merrimack’s team – will compete in the state final on Tuesday in Concord.

The team, called “Steak and Cheese,” beat 30 other groups in the challenge, which was held two weeks ago in the school parking lot and run by resource officer Mike Murray. In relaying around a cruiser, buckling each time, they clocked a speed of 34.02 seconds.