OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate approved Senate Bill 681 Tuesday, which requires any backseat passenger that is 16 years old or younger to wear a properly fastened seat belt. Sen. Roland Pederson, R-Burlington, authored the measure that aims to reduce the number of injuries and deaths of youth involved in car accidents.
“Oklahoma is the only state that does not require children over the age of 8 to wear seat belts in the backseat,” Pederson said. “It is time for us to make this change and put protections in place for children in our state. You may think it won’t happen to you or anyone you know, but there are countless crashes every year. This bill was requested by a group of FCCLA members from my district that lost a friend who was not wearing a seat belt in the back seat.”
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children. The National Highway Safety Office reported that in 2020, 38% of children under 12 who were killed in crashes were not buckled.
“While car crashes are inevitable, I hope this bill will help reduce the number of children that are killed or hurt when accidents do occur,” Pederson said.
SB 681 now moves to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, is the principal author.
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