Beginning on May 21st through June 3rd, 2012 locally the Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, Hermantown Police Department, Proctor Police Department, Floodwood Police Department, UMD Police Department and Minnesota State Patrol are joining 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies statewide that will increase seatbelt enforcement in a “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
The Minnesota primary seat belt law requires drivers and all passengers to be buckled up or in the correct child restraint or booster seat. Law enforcement officers will stop and ticket motorists for seat belt violations — including unbelted passengers.
Properly wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger occupants by 45 percent in a car and 60 percent in a light truck. Seat belts are the most effective means of protecting oneself from injury while riding in a vehicle.
In a crash, odds are six-times greater for injury if a motorist is not buckled up. An unbelted motorist can crash into a windshield and slam into and injure other passengers. Often, an unbelted motorist is ejected from the vehicle and killed. Seat belts restrain motorists in the vehicle’s designed protective space, giving them room to live in the event of a crash.
2008–2010 Minnesota Seat Belt Facts
- Of the 932 vehicle occupants killed, only 424 (45 percent) were known to belted.
- Of the 2,858 vehicle occupants seriously injured, only 1,568 (55 percent) were known to be belted.
- During this period, 206 motorists were killed during nighttime hours (9 p.m. – 3 a.m.), and only 55 (27 percent) of these victims were known to be belted.
- Annually, nearly 75 percent of unbelted traffic deaths occur on Greater Minnesota roads.
- Minnesotans that are least likely to buckle up and more likely to die in crashes are young drivers, particularly males and residents in Greater Minnesota. Each year, motorists ages 15–29 account for about 40 percent of all unbelted deaths and 50 percent of all unbelted serious injuries — yet this group represents only 24 percent of all licensed drivers.
- Each year, 70 percent of drinking drivers killed in crashes are not buckled up.
- Nationwide, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 2 to 33 years old.
- Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers — 16 to 19-year-olds are more likely to die in a crash than the next two leading causes combined (homicide and suicide). Of the 88 vehicle occupant crash fatalities in that age group, only 33 (38 percent) were known to be belted.
- An AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics study shows a correlation between driver seat belt use and child restraint use. When a driver buckles up, child passengers are restrained nearly 90 percent of the time. When a driver does not buckle up, children are restrained only one-quarter of the time.