Proposed bill seeks to require older children to wear seatbelts in the back seat

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A coalition of state health, traffic safety and education organizations is urging voters to contact their legislators in support of a bill that would require children ages 8-17 to wear a seatbelt when riding in the back seat of a vehicle.

"I think I would have been thrown out and possible not be alive today," Danica Jordan said.

That's why Jordan was at the state capitol Wednesday, talking about the day she believes a seatbelt saved her life.

"I just remember my grandma telling me that I was doing great at my driving and all of a sudden we get hit," Jordan said.

Jordan is rallying behind a recently filed house bill, HB 2791, authored by State Representative Ross Ford (R - Broken Arrow) that would require children ages 8-17 to buckle up in the back seat.

"I knew last year that this bill was ran and had some difficulties and did not make it through the process," Ford said.

He's talking about HB 1936. It would've brought Oklahoma up to par with the rest of the nation, but it failed in the House Public Safety Committee seven to four.

"As a former police officer, the worst thing that a police officer can see and do is arrive on the scene of a car crash and be informed that there was a child in a vehicle and they were seriously injured," Ford said.

That's one reason why he hopes his bill makes it all the way through the legislative process.

"The majority of our legislators have said, in these past years, that they cannot support this because they believe their constituents, voters in their areas, want them to not enact more laws," Leslie Gamble with AAA Oklahoma said.

We asked Oklahomans what they thought, and the reaction was mixed, but most were for the bill.

"Eighty lbs to 170 lbs and you're 17, you don't need a seatbelt," Riley Mason Cooper said.

"I think a mandate for keeping kids safe is definitely something that should be a top priority," James Robertson said.

"I think it's a little law that we could easily pass. I know there's a lot of laws being passed right now, that should be at the top of the board," War Mothershed said.

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