Oklahoma Has Some Work to Do When It Comes to Road Safety

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Earlier in the year, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released their
annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws report. Each year, the organization
analyzes the road safety laws of each state and ranks them accordingly. In this
year’s report, Oklahoma fared well in some categories, but clearly has work to do
in others.
The report does not assign actual numerical ratings. Instead, it uses a color system.
Green indicates the highest ranking, while yellow is average and red is the worst a
state can rank. Oklahoma received a grade of medium, or average. It was among 33
other states to receive the same grade. While Oklahoma needs to make some
improvements to achieve the same grade as six other states and the District of
Columbia, it still got better marks than 11 other states.
The Sooner State got high marks for its impaired driving laws, but scored low in
motorcycle helmet safety and laws pertaining to child safety. The report also found
that Oklahoma may want to place focus on teen driving and distracted driving
“The scores were fair and show that Oklahoma is already doing many things right
when it comes to road safety,” says Roellen G. Hasbrook of Hasbrook &
Hasbrook. “However, it is clear that we also have a lot of opportunities to expand
on those road safety laws. Until Oklahoma is ranked at the top of the pack, none of
us can be entirely satisfied with the safety our roads.”
Where do you start when you want to improve the safety of any state’s roads? In
Oklahoma, the report suggested mandatory seatbelt use for passengers in the back
seat. Going hand in hand with that, the document also stated that child booster
seats should be required throughout the state.
Certain cellphone restrictions on those with graduated driver’s licenses, and
moving the minimum age for a learner’s permit to 16 were also suggestions the
report made. Lastly, while only certain riders in the state must wear a motorcycle
helmet, the report suggested it that requirement apply to all motorcyclists.