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Minnesota seat belt use up 15 percent in a decade; nears 95 percent

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More Minnesotans are buckling up.

The Department of Public Safety says a survey this summer put seat belt use at 94.8 percent. As WCCO reports, that's a little higher than 2012 and 15 percent more than in 2003.

The Star Tribune notes that when Minnesota first passed its seat belt law in 1986, compliance was only 20 percent and 280 unbuckled motorists were killed in accidents. Unbelted fatalities last year were 116.

Among the states, the newspaper reports Washington led the way at just under 97 percent. Our neighbors in South Dakota are least likely to wear seat belts, with only about two-thirds buckled up.

In announcing the survey results, safety officials reminded us that a "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign is underway and continues through Saturday.

The Office of Traffic Safety has a page with pointers on seat belt use, including tips for children and pregnant women.

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