Seat belt citations drop for third straight year

Published 5:47 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) announced Wednesday that 1,805 seat belt citations were issued during the most recent statewide Click It or Ticket campaign from Sept. 19-30, a decrease from 2,664 citations issued during the same time last year.

The state has seen a steady decline in seat belt citations since 2018, when 4,610 citations were issued.

Despite the decrease, DPS-OTS Director Mike Hanson believes Minnesota motorists can do better.

“The 1,800 seat belt violations baffles my mind,” he said. “How do so many people continue to get into vehicles and fail to buckle up? By now, you should know the seat belt is your first and last line of defense when getting in a crash. It’s selfish to believe failing to buckle up only affects you. Think of all the people whose lives will be changed if you are killed, all because you didn’t want to take two seconds to buckle up. Drive smart and stay alive by always buckling up.”

There was a rise in the number of child restraint citations this year, increasing from 64 last year to 73 this year.

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 10, preliminary reports show 80 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads compared with 78 this time last year.

Minnesota law states that drivers and passengers in all seating positions must wear seat belts or be in the correct child restraint. Occupants must correctly wear seat belts low and snug across the hips, and they should never tuck straps under an arm or behind the back. If you are unbuckled, expect to be stopped.