Seat belt use credited for decline in highway deaths

Saturday, January 17th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Oklahomans are heeding advice of state officials and buckling up out on the roads.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials say that's why fewer people are dying on the state's roadways.

O-H-P says almost 77 percent of drivers in the state wore seat belts last year. At the same time, traffic fatalities fell 14 percent from the previous year.

Oklahoma Highway Safety Office spokeswoman Cecilia Alsobrook says it's tough to measure, but a seat belt reduces a person's chances of being injured or killed by nearly 50 percent.

Motorists in Oklahoma have been required to wear a seat belt since 1997.

The drivers of pickups registered as farm vehicles do not have to wear seat belts.