The Oklahoma Senate has passed legislation that would require any child under the age of 17 to wear a seat belt while riding in the back seat of a vehicle.
Current Oklahoma law only requires children under the age of eight and passengers in the front seat to buckle up.
Senate Bill 1303 was authored by Sen. Roland Pederson, R-Burlington.
“Oklahoma is the only state in the entire country that doesn’t require seat belts for kids over the age of eight, and it’s no coincidence that vehicle fatalities are the number one cause of death for children eight and older here in Oklahoma,” Pederson said in a statement. “The bottom line is, children are being hurt and dying simply because we don’t require them to wear a seat belt.”
Oklahoma is 50th in the nation in protecting children in car crashes, according to AAA, the Senate media release stated.
Pederson said he decided to run the measure after speaking with Drummond Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members Danica Jordan and Destiny Hudson. Both lobbied for stricter seat belt requirements after experiencing firsthand the lifesaving difference a seat belt can make.
The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, is the House author for the bill.
Source: Oklahoma Senate
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