Motorists and passengers are reminded to buckle up this fall as extra Click It or Ticket seatbelt patrols take to the roads statewide October 4–19. Red Wing Police Department is among nearly 400 Minnesota agencies increasing patrols to encourage motorists to buckle up.
In the last three years on Minnesota roads (2010-2012), there were 852 motorist traffic deaths, of which 361 (42 percent) were not buckled up. Of those 361 killed, 42 percent were motorists ages 16–29, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
In Goodhue County, during 2012, we experienced 649 crashes which resulted in 6 fatalities, 186 injuries and 457 involved property damage only.
“Every year, teens and young adults represent a large percentage of unbelted traffic deaths, which indicates there is still a major issue with seatbelt usage among that age group,” says Chief Roger Pohlman. “You cannot account for the actions of other drivers; therefore it is vital that vehicle operators take the time to protect themselves and their passengers by buckling up!” “In 2012, over 56% of crashes contributing factors were: Driver distraction/inattention; failure to yield; following too close and unsafe/illegal speeds, all activities that put others at risk!”
Drivers, Passengers — Including in the Back Seat — Must Be Belted
In Minnesota, drivers and passengers in all seating positions, including in 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 be worn correctly — low and snug across the hips; shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.
The Importance of Buckling Up
In rollover crashes, unbelted motorists are usually ejected from the vehicle. In most cases, the vehicle will roll over them. Often, unbelted motorists will crack teeth out on steering wheels or break their nose, and even slam into and injure or kill others in the vehicle.
In a crash, odds are six times greater for injury if a motorist is not buckled up.
Minnesota Child Car Seat Law and Steps