Local law enforcement to watch for seatbelt violators

Published 10:52 am Thursday, October 13, 2011

Austin police and Mower County Sheriff’s deputies will have extra patrols warning motorists to “click it or ticket” for 10 days beginning Friday.

Officers will be enforcing seat belt laws, ensuring drivers and passengers are buckled up. The effort comes as part of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign, which aims to educate motorists to reduce the annual death rate on Minnesota roads.

Chief Deputy Mark May said two extra patrols will be on the lookout for seat belt law violations every day throughout the enforcement period.

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According to Police Chief Brian Krueger, many area motorists already wear their seat belts, but the reminder is important because it can save lives.

“The majority obey the law,” Krueger said. “We want to make sure the public is seatbelted for the possibility of them being in an accident.”

The extra patrols will focus on night enforcement, when more than 60 percent of fatalities are not buckled up, according to a news release.

Officers will also be focusing on the child passenger safety law, which requires children to use a booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Although a seat belt fine only costs $25, it can cost more than $100 with court and administrative fees.