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OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that would change the seat belt law for children passed the Oklahoma House last week.

HB3026, authored by Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman), would require every person under the age of 14 to wear a seat belt or be in a child passenger
restraint system while in a motor vehicle.

Currently, there is no law requiring adults to buckle up children 8 to 13 years old in the back seat.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of Oklahoma children ages one to 18.

In the last five years, 5,198 Oklahoma children between the ages of 8 to 13 have been injured or killed in crashes in our state. 660 of those children were not wearing a seat belt or restrained in a car seat, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.

“We are grateful to the representatives who voted in favor of this bill,” said Leslie Gamble, AAA Oklahoma spokesperson. “It is surprising that this fundamental protection for our children’s lives is not already law. We look forward to Sen. Yen’s’ leadership in the Senate to advance this measure before more lives are lost.”

Sen. Ervin Yen (R-Oklahoma City), will introduce the bill in the Senate.

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