Archived Story

Police to ticket unbelted drivers in Click It campaign

Published 6:09am Monday, October 7, 2013

Drivers and passengers are reminded to buckle up, as the latest statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt patrols head out on the roads. The campaign started Oct. 4 and runs through Oct. 19.

Nearly 400 Minnesota agencies will increase patrols to encourage motorists to buckle up during the campaign, according to a news release from the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. A total of 10,342 motorists were ticketed for seat belt violations during a similar campaign back in May.

Unbelted motorists continue to represent a significant amount of Minnesota’s traffic fatalities, especially in greater Minnesota. From 2010 to 2012 on roads across the state, 852 motorists died in crashes, and 361 (or 42 percent) were not buckled up; 171 (49 percent) of the 361 unbelted deaths were motorists ages 16 to 29; 302 (84 percent) of the 361 unbelted deaths occurred outside the seven-county Twin Cities metro area.

“The goal of seat belt enforcement is to encourage motorists to make safe decisions,” said Donna Berger, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director. “When a motorist is not buckled up, a crash that could have resulted in minor or no injuries can turn into something serious and deadly.”

In a crash, odds are six times greater for injury if a motorist is not buckled up.

The DPS Office of Traffic Safety rolled out a new video focusing on teenage unbelted traffic deaths as part of the campaign launch.

The 30-second video posted to YouTube titled “Yearbook” features the faces of real Minnesota teenagers whose yearbook photos are marked up by the pen one of their peers.

More than half of the teenagers killed in crashes each year were not buckled up. Of the 102 teen vehicle occupant deaths from 2010 to 2012, only 42 wore seat belts.

“Teenagers are at greatest risk on the road due to their driving inexperience and their lower seat belt compliance,” said Gordy Pehrson, DPS Office of Traffic Safety youth programs coordinator. “Parents must reinforce that their teens belt up, and we need teens to be the voice of reason in a vehicle to remind other passengers to buckle up.”

In Minnesota, drivers and passengers in all seating positions, including the back seat, are required to be buckled up or seated in the correct child restraint. Officers will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers. Seat belts must also be worn correctly, which means they should be low and snug across the hips and shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.

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