OKLAHOMA CITY – Members of the Senate will examine current seat belt laws for children and the state’s mandatory professional development training for educators this coming week at the state Capitol.

State Sen. Carri Hicks requested both interim studies.  The Senate Public Safety Committee will hold the seat belt study this coming Monday, September 9 at 1 p.m. in room 419-C.

“Last year, Oklahoma had 29 fatalities involving minors who were not restrained,” said Hicks, D-Oklahoma City.  “Many people probably don’t even realize that there currently is no statutory requirement for kids over the age of 12 to be buckled up if they’re riding in the backseat.  Other states have much stronger seat belt laws for minors and we need to examine how we can strengthen our statutes to reduce injuries and deaths.”

Representatives from AAA, OU Medical Center Trauma One, Safe Kids Oklahoma, the OU Medical Center and former Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel are scheduled to make presentations on Oklahoma’s child seat belt laws.

Hicks’ study on mandatory professional development training for school districts will be heard by the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, September 10 at 1:15 p.m. in room 535 of the Capitol.

“For the past several years, state mandated professional development has taken away local control. At the same time, we’ve seen funding for this training taken away,” Hicks said.  “We want local school districts to be empowered to make meaningful investments in areas they see the greatest need in their school districts.” 

Representatives from the State Department of Education, the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, Oklahoma City Public Schools and Cordell Public Schools will appear before the Education Committee for the Tuesday hearing.

For more information, contact Sen. Carri Hicks at 405-521-5543 or email carri.hicks@oksenate.gov.