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NEWS RELEASE

Andy Skoogman, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Nathan Bowie  (651) 201-7571
nathan.bowie@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2011
State's 20 Counties with Highest Percentage of Unbelted Deaths Mapped
Study Also Details Best Counties and Metro

ST. PAUL — A study of the state’s counties with the highest percentage of unbelted traffic deaths points to problem areas in the southeast, southwest, northwest, as well as a stretch of eastern counties running north from the Twin Cities,  according to the  Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.

DPS named 20 counties with the highest percentages of unbelted traffic deaths following a statewide seat belt enforcement campaign, Oct. 14–27, in which 260 reporting agencies cited more than 10,000 motorists for belt violations. In a similar 2010 campaign, more than 13,000 motorists were ticketed.

During 2008–2010 in Minnesota, there were 932 vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes and 409 were not buckled up (44 percent). (View county-specific seat belt data.)

“We’ve made great progress to improve the state’s state's seat belt use, yet in many parts of the state motorists are making the poor choice to travel unbelted, and they are paying the ultimate price for taking that risk,” says Donna Berger, acting director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety.

Counties with the Highest Percentage of Unbelted Fatalities, 2008–2010

The following list identifies each county (number of motorist deaths – number of unbelted deaths), and its percentage of unbelted deaths. (Counties with fewer than three deaths not listed).

1. Kanabec (3–3), 100 percent

2. Wadena (3–3), 100 percent

3. Redwood (6–5), 83 percent

4. Lac qui Parle (5–4), 80 percent

5. Brown (4–3 unbelted), 75 percent

6. Martin (13–9), 69 percent

7. Itasca (12–8), 67 percent

8. Aitkin (9–6); 67 percent

9. Pennington (9–6), 67 percent

10. Yellow Medicine (3–2), 67 percent

11. Wilkin (6–4), 67 percent

12. Rice (14–9), 64 percent

13. Winona (16–10), 63 percent

14. Hubbard (8–5), 63 percent

15. Mower (5–3), 60 percent

16. Olmsted (24–14), 58 percent

17. Isanti (19–11), 58 percent

18. Goodhue (14–8), 57 percent

19. Morrison (14–8), 57 percent

20. Mahnomen (7–4), 57 percent

 

Counties with Lowest Percentage of Unbelted Fatalities, 2008–2010

The following list identifies each county (number of motorist deaths – number of unbelted deaths), and its percentage of unbelted deaths. (Counties with fewer than 10 deaths not listed).

Blue Earth (10–2, 20 percent); Crow Wing (14–4, 29 percent); Douglas (13–4, 31 percent); Freeborn (19–4, 21 percent); Jackson (10–3, 30 percent); McLeod (11–3, 27 percent); Renville (14–3, 21 percent); Sherburne (20–4, 20 percent); Todd (10–3, 30 percent).

 

Metro Counties’ Unbelted Statistics, 2008–2010

Anoka (25–9, 36 percent); Dakota (36–16, 44 percent); Hennepin (90–34, 38 percent); Ramsey (29–11, 38 percent); Washington (25–8, 32 percent).

 

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