OHP troopers are looking for deadbeat drivers

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers are looking for deadbeat drivers.

Drivers who fail to buckle up kids are considered deadbeats by Oklahoma law enforcement officers.

"We can no longer tolerate children being injured or killed because the driver failed to ensure they were buckled up," said Lieutenant Chris West, highway patrol.

The OHP kicked off a statewide safety belt campaign with the theme "Click it or ticket!" in January.

"The focus of our program is not on writing tickets but to get people to simply buckle up," said West.

Next week, troopers will merge their ongoing effort by joining officers nationwide participating in a safety campaign called Operation ABC Mobilization: America Buckles up Children.

This is the third year for the campaign. Since its inception, child fatalities have dropped by 12.3 percent and restraint use for toddlers ages 1 to 4 has jumped from 60 to 87 percent.

"Although this is an every day enforcement effort for us as troopers, participating in the safety campaign is one way we can continue to raise public awareness on the dangers of not wearing safety belts," said West.

The campaign kicks off Monday, May 22 and continues through Monday, May 29. During the campaign, if you see unbuckled children you can call 1-800-764-5755 and report the license plate of vehicles in which unbuckled children are riding.

"The owners of vehicles will receive a letter cautioning them that driving with an unbuckled child is dangerous and illegal and if stopped, could be ticketed," said West.