Law enforcement agencies across the state will be taking part in the annual “Click It or Ticket” mobilization and cracking down on drivers and passengers who are not buckled up according to state law.

“Those who choose not to wear a seat belt will feel the heat during this campaign,” said OHP Lt. Troy German, statewide occupant protection coordinator. “Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night – no warnings and no excuses.”

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.

“We can’t make the decision to buckle up for you, and we hope it won’t take getting a ticket to help you remember to fasten that seat belt or buckle your child correctly,” German said. “Unless you want to risk a ticket – or, even worse, your life – you must buckle up.”

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, seat belts save about 13,000 lives each year.

The nationwide campaign runs through the Memorial Day holiday weekend, when many motorists will be traveling on U.S. highways.

In 2013 in Oklahoma:

678 people died on Oklahoma roadways. Restraint use was known on 439 of these.

Of those 439 deaths, 55.1 percent were not restrained.

More than 40 percent of unrestrained fatalities were ejected from the vehicle.

For more information about Oklahoma’s occupant protection laws, visitwww.ohso.ok.gov.