Buckle Up! There Will Be Extra Seat Belt Enforcement On Minnesota Roads May 18-31

Each year, lack of seat belt use is a contributing factor in about half of all motorists killed on Minnesota roads. As Minnesotans plan their Memorial Day weekend fun, more than 300 law enforcement agencies will be participating in the statewide Click It or Ticket campaign, increasing patrols May 18–31 to help reinforce the message that seat belts save lives.

Save A Life, Buckle Up

More Minnesotans than ever are buckling up. Before Minnesota’s first seat belt law in June 1986, 20 percent of front seat vehicle occupants wore belts. Overall seat belt compliance is now about 95 percent for front seat occupants.

From 2012–2014, of the 823 people killed in Minnesota car crashes, only 52 percent were known to be belted. In 2014, only 34 percent of drinking drivers killed were known to be belted.

Nationwide statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal how critical seat belts are to preventing tragedy: From 2008–2012, seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives, and an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved in 2012 alone if all unrestrained occupants involved in fatal crashes had been buckled up.

Save A Life, Speak Up

The law may motivate some motorists to buckle up, but friends and family can influence as well. NHTSA reports that when asked to do so, nine out of 10 people will fasten their seat belt.

Minnesota law states that drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or seated in the correct child restraint. Officers will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers. Seat belts must be worn correctly—low and snug across the hips, and shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.

Minnesota Child Car Seat Law

In Minnesota, all children under age 8 riding in vehicles must be in a child restraint, according to the following guidelines.

  • Newborns to at least 1 year and 20 pounds must ride in rear-facing infant seats (recommended for up to age 2). It is safest to keep a child in a rear-facing seat as long as possible.
  • Children age 2 until around age 4 must ride in forward-facing toddler seats. It’s preferable to keep children in a harnessed restraint as long as possible.
  • After children outgrow a forward-facing harnessed restraint, it is safest for them to ride in a booster until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least age 8, whichever comes first.
  • Children can ride using regular seat belt restraints when they can sit with their backs against the seat and have their knees bent comfortably over the vehicle seat edge with feet touching the floor.

Toward Zero Deaths

The Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement and education is a component of the Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes–education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency trauma response.

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