OKLAHOMA CITY - Cars are a critical part of our lives. And it's no different for state employees. The State says many of its workers need a car to perform their jobs.

Some are pretty obvious, like troopers in patrol cars. But did you know State Department of Libraries staff and Agriculture agency workers also drive cars we are paying for?

We wanted to know if some state vehicles aren't driven much or not at all. The answer is tough to come by. Most agencies get vehicles from the Department of Central Services.

Those agencies must report to DCS at least once a month. DCS is responsible for 8586 vehicles. But it only has mileage reports on 5669. It tells us none of those came back with zero mileage last year.

That still means there's no information about 2917 vehicles we're paying for.

There are also five agencies that don't have to report to DCS:

Department of Public Safety, ODOT, The Bureau of Narcotics, OSBI and the agency that oversees state universities.

Some of those still do report them and we have the numbers. (see below)

Lawmakers are open to making changes.

The State Finance Office says legislators are talking about improving the state's vehicle program.

Vehicle usage reports from five agencies that do not have to report to DCS:

Department Of Public Safety:

Total vehicles, including Turnpikes: 1238

Awaiting sale including Turnpikes: 127

Active vehicles including Turnpikes: 1111

Of the above totals, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority owns 127 active units and 37 awaiting sale.

All unit were used within calendar year 2011

Vehicles under 6000 miles: 96

Of the 96 vehicles list above, 55 are new units that just arrived and are being upfitted and prepared for the road.

Oklahoma State Bureau Of Investigation:

OSBI currently has 161 vehicles which include highly specialized vehicles like the Mobile Analysis Center and surveillance platform. Of the 161 vehicles, 46 were driven 6,000 miles or less in 2011, including 3 not driven at all. Those 3 cars are reserved for agent positions we are about to fill and that we had hoped to fill several months ago.

As for the 46 cars driven less than 6,000 miles, they include the Mobile Analysis Center and Surveillance Platform.

7 vehicles assigned to regional laboratories (1 car and 1 evidence truck for each of the four labs). The cars are used mainly for criminalists to travel to meetings and court. The evidence trucks are used to transport evidence from the regional labs to the FSC.

4 vehicles are assigned to the FSC (Forensic Science Center) for use at crime scenes. This program (to send out criminalists to crime scenes) only started last summer which accounts for the low mileage.

17 vehicles are assigned to the FSC so criminalists can drive to and from court/meetings/conferences/training/etc.

4 cars are in the process of being surplused due to little usage and/or high maintenance costs.

12 vehicles are placed at 8 regional investigative offices (including HQ) and used as pool vehicles and undercover vehicles.

The average odometer reading of the OSBI fleet as of 12/31/2011 was 75,012 and they average age 5.8 years.

Even though OSBI is exempt by state law to report to DCS on its fleet, they still do. OSBI voluntarily submits information DCS asks other agencies to submit monthly.

Oklahoma Department Of Transportation:

ODOT has a total of 974 driving vehicles. Every vehicle was used in 2011 

100 autos - of those, 40 had less than 6,000 miles

736 pickups - of those, 159 had less than 6,000 miles

138 vans - of those, 40 had less than 6,000 miles

These don't include equipment trucks, but only the vehicles that are used for driving and perhaps have some equipment but not the heavy equipment for road work. 

ODOT imposed a self-inflicted policy a few years ago not to replace our vehicles unless they have at least 175,000 miles.

Oklahoma Bureau Of Narcotics:

Vehicles owned or in use in 2011: 129

Vehicles not used: 0

Vehicles with 6000 miles or less: 26

Oklahoma State System For Higher Education:

Number of Vehicles: 2160. This includes passenger vehicles, SUVs, trucks, utility vehicles, vans, and buses.