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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2005

Audio Clip


Sen. Clark Jolley

Senate Gives Final Okay to Child Safety Bill

The full Senate has given final approval to a bill to encourage more parents to buckle up their children. Currently, the fine for failing to use proper child restraints is $10 and up to $15 in court costs. SB 799 would boost the fine.

“Under Senate Bill 799, the fine would be waived for a first offense and the court costs capped at $15 if the person shows proof that they’ve obtained the appropriate child safety seats. Subsequent offenses would carry a $50 fine and court costs,” explained Jolley, author of the measure.

The additional revenues from the higher fine would go to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office which will use those funds to raise public awareness about the importance of using child safety restraints.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death among American children between ages one to four.

“We want to convey the message that parents can’t afford not to buckle their kids up—not because of a fine but because of the tremendous danger that child faces when they’re not properly restrained,” Jolley said. “I think this measure will help parents think twice and hopefully save lives.”

The Edmond Republican said that an estimated 54,000 Oklahoma children are at risk of serious injury or death because their parents fail to use child safety seats.

Sen. Jolley pointed out that several organizations provide low or no-cost child safety seats to parents of young children. The Oklahoma Safe Kids Coalition can help parents find out how to obtain free or low cost car seats at 405-271-5695 or on the web at www.oksafekids.org.

The bill now moves to the House for a final vote. If approved, it will be sent to Gov. Brad Henry for his signature.

For more information contact:
Senator Communications Office- (405) 521-5774

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