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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Dave Boxum  651-201-7569
dave.boxum@state.mn.us
Scott Wasserman  651-201-7571
scott.wasserman@state.mn.us
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2016
Click It or Ticket Enforcement: Thousands of Motorists Cited for Not Buckling Up
Most People Buckle Up but Small Segment Remain Unbelted

​ST. PAUL – While most Minnesotans understand that seat belts and child restraints save lives, thousands of drivers were cited not buckling up during the Click It or Ticket extra enforcement campaign from May 23 – June 5.

Law enforcement handed out 7,233 seat belt and 213 child restraint citations to those who risk losing their own lives or others in the car. Among the violations, a 4-year-old riding on his mother’s lap and helping steer the vehicle.

More than 300 law enforcement agencies participated in the annual extra enforcement effort. Here is the online list of seat belt citations by participating agency. The campaign is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

Citation Results
While the 2016 numbers are about the same as last year’s, long-term trends show positive direction in seat belt compliance. The 2015 Minnesota Seat Belt Survey shows 94 percent compliance for front seat occupants.

Click It or Ticket Citations May 2013 – 2016:   

  • 2016: 7,233 seat belt citations, plus 213 child restraint citations
  • 2015: 7,393 seat belt citations, plus 175 child restraint citations.
  • 2014: 10,874 seat belt citations, plus 279 child restraint citations.
  • 2013: 10,342 seat belt citations, plus 256 child restraint citations.

“Wearing a seat belt is just common sense and it’s the law, and thankfully most Minnesotans get it,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “For those who say they’re not hurting others by not buckling up, it’s an excuse, and it’s not true. It does hurt others when you’re no longer in their lives because of a fatal crash. Join the crowd and make the right choice to increase your chance to live.”

Take Three Seconds to Stay Alive
Taking three seconds to buckle up will increase the likelihood of surviving a crash and reducing serious injuries. Unbelted motorists are often ejected from the vehicle, and airbags are not a replacement for seat belts in preventing injuries.

  • In 2015, 77 percent of vehicle occupants who died after being ejected or partially ejected were not wearing a seat belt.
  • In 2015 in Minnesota, airbags deployed a reported 18,152 times when the occupant was also buckled up. Fifty-six percent of these cases resulted in no apparent injury.
  • In comparison, only 34 percent of the 808 cases where airbags deployed and occupants were not wearing seat belts resulted in no apparent injury.

Minnesota Child Car Seat Law

  • In Minnesota, all children must be in a child restraint until they are 4’9” tall, or at least age 8, whichever comes first.
  • Rear-facing child seats - Newborns to at least 1 year and 20 pounds.  \

Border to Border Challenge Results
Minnesota law enforcement participated in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s Border to Border Challenge on May 23. The nationwide seat belt enforcement effort included more than 20 states and focused on seat belt violations from 6 – 10 p.m. Agencies in Minnesota issued tickets for 262 seat belt violations and 61 child restraint violations that evening. Nationally, numbers show a higher percentage of people who died in crashes overnight were not buckled up compared to fatalities during daytime hours. 

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 (DPS-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. DPS-OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.

DPS-OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety program. 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 medical and trauma response.

Recent DPS-OTS Activity and Statistics

  • More than 30 Minnesota organizations in April joined the Department of Public Safety and statewide law enforcement in calling for employees and all drivers to choose safety over texting and to eliminate distracted driving.
  • Police officers, sheriff deputies and state patrol troopers participated in the April extra enforcement distracted driving campaign, handing out 972 citations to drivers for texting while driving. That’s up from 909 citations during last year’s campaign.
  • Locked Up: A DWI Booking,” gives you an inside look at the DWI booking process. Being arrested for a DWI involves more than just getting a ticket.
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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov