Law enforcement have two reasons for wanting drivers to wear seatbelts. It can save your life and it can save you a ticket. Police are about to start a concentrated effort to ticket drivers who aren't buckled up.
News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Bob Griffith has been on the road 20 years, but he vividly remembers the first time he saw a person killed for lack of wearing a seatbelt. "The first time will never escape you."
It was a crash that one driver, with a seatbelt, survived. The other driver died. "The car was crushed so badly she was thrown from the vehicle and she was dead at the scene. A seatbelt would have saved her life."
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol joined Tulsa area police departments and EMSA to talk about the dangers of driving without a seatbelt - and a new push to hand out tickets to drivers who aren't buckled up.
Broken Arrow Police Sgt. Ed Ferguson: "Safety belts save lives, that's why we have to have a mandatory seat belt law."
But people who drive pickups - usually young men - often ignore the seatbelt law. Only 2 out of 3 of them use the belt, even though pickups are easy to roll over in a crash.
To drive home the point about pickup truck rollovers, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office is buying ads on TV. Traffic cops say they've seen far too many people killed without seatbelts to have pity on drivers who choose not to wear them. They pity the families they've had to console after fatal accidents - that could have been prevented with a seatbelt.
Law enforcement will be targeting drivers without seatbelts from May 22nd through June 4th - the start of many summer vacations, and one of the busiest weeks on the road.