ST. PAUL — A statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, May 20–June 2, resulted in 10,342 motorists cited for not wearing seat belts, according to preliminary results from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
Campaign results were reported by 323 agencies. Included in the citation count were 256 child passenger safety seat and booster seat violations. Booster seats are the law for children who have outgrown a forward-facing restraint. It is safest to keep a child in a booster until the child is 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least age 8. Boosters raise children up so seat belts fit properly.
“With drunk, distracted and aggressive drivers on the road, everyone in the vehicle needs to be buckled up,” says Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. “The Click It or Ticket campaign encourages motorists to make safe, smart decisions to prevent deaths and injuries.”
In a similar campaign last May, 12,639 motorists were cited.
There are around 120 unbelted traffic deaths each year in Minnesota. In the last three years in Minnesota, (2010–2012), there were 852 vehicle occupant traffic deaths of which 361 (42 percent) were not buckled up. Of the unbelted deaths, 84 percent were in Greater Minnesota and 42 percent were motorists ages 16–29.
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.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety 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.
Office of Traffic Safety (@MnDPS_OTS) Updates
• Since June 1, eight people have been killed in Minnesota traffic crashes. There were 31 deaths in May. To-date, there have been 129 road deaths, up from 119 at this time last year.
• Statewide speed enforcement will put the brakes on speeders June 17–23.
• Final 2012 traffic crash facts will be announced in mid-June.
• The 2013 DWI Enforcer All-Stars will be presented at Target Field June 27.
• Motorcycle rider training courses are available for new and experienced riders — register at motorcyclesafety.org, https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/mmsc/Pages/default.aspx.
• OTS is investing federal grants totaling more than $7 million to 317 law enforcement agencies and community partner groups for enforcement and education campaigns, Oct. 2012–Sept. 30, 2013.
• OTS news archive: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/Pages/news.aspx.
• OTS PSA archive: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/audio-visual-library/Pages/default.aspx.