OKLAHOMA CITY -- A statewide seat belt enforcement crackdown kicked off Monday afternoon with an event at the State Capitol.
The Oklahoma mobilization is part of th e nationwide campaign and will run May 23 through June 5. More than 50 law enforcement officers from across the state attended Monday's event, which took place on the Capitol's south plaza. Agencies included municipal police departments, sheriff's offices, university police departments and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Oklahoma's use rate in 2010 was 85.9 percent, even higher than the nationwide observed use rate of 85 percent, but Fallin said there is still work to do.
"Some counties show much lower use rates, and drivers and passengers in pickup trucks show substantially lower rates than those in passenger cars and SUVs," she said.
Oklahoma adopted a primary seat belt law in 1997 and has taken part in the "Click It or Ticket" mobilization since 2003, Fallin said.
Thompson said law enforcement agencies across the state are joining forces to watch for seat belt violations day and night throughout the mobilization period.
"We want you to know: Whoever and wherever you are, we'll be watching," he said.
Kuhlmann said one of the most difficult situations faced by law enforcement officers is knocking on someone's door to tell them a loved one has died in a crash.
"It's even more difficult when the person was not wearing a seat belt and the death might have been prevented," he said.
Oklahoma law requires drivers and front seat passengers age 13 and over to have a safety belt properly fastened at all times the vehicle is being operated. Children age 12 and younger are required to be properly restrained in the appropriate car seat, booster seat or seat belt, according to the child's age and weight.