Seat belt enforcement results in citations

Extra “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement patrols in October resulted in 88 seat belt citations, according to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.

The statewide campaign ran Oct. 12 – 26. More than 400 unbelted motorists were killed in the last three years in Minnesota, representing 43 percent of the total motorist deaths. In Carver County during this time period, eight unbelted motorists were killed and eight were seriously injured.

Of the 377 motorists killed in unbelted deaths during 2009 – 2011, 154 (41 percent) were motorists ages 16 – 29.

In a crash, odds are six-times greater for injury if a motorist is not buckled 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 be worn correctly — low and snug across the hips; shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.

Minnesota’s child passenger safety law requires children under age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches to be in a car seat or booster seat. Children should start riding in a booster seat starting around age 4. It is safest to keep children riding in a booster until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least age 8.

Why Buckle 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.
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.

The Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement and education is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death (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.