OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Ross Ford (R-Broken Arrow), officials from AAA, Safe Kids Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, as well as several young people sharing how seat belts changed their lives will hold two separate press conferences Wednesday to announce legislation that will strengthen seat-belt laws for young people. The first press conference will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, in Room 432-B in the state Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City. A second press conference will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Broken Arrow Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 170, 2201 W Ithica St., Broken Arrow. Ford will be running legislation this year that will require all youth aged 17 or younger to wear seat belts when riding in the back seat of a vehicle on Oklahoma roadways. Oklahoma ranks 50th in protecting children in car crashes, which is the leading cause of death and injury to those eight and older in Oklahoma, according to information from AAA.
SOONER STATE IS ONLY ONE IN NATION NOT REQUIRING SEAT BELT USE IN BACK SEATS
Oklahoma is the only state in the nation without a law requiring children 8 to 17 to wear a seat belt when riding in the back seat of a moving vehicle. According to data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, 67 children ages 8 to 17 are injured and 16 killed in 2017 in Oklahoma who weren't wearing seat belts.