Forgetting to buckle up just one time could be a life-changing decision.
That's a message from the Department of Public Safety, who launched another "Click It or Ticket" campaign on Friday, according to a news release.
More than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state will participate in extra enforcement during the campaign, which runs from Oct. 14 - Oct. 30, the release says.
"Whether it’s unbuckling to reach down for something or not buckling because you are just a few blocks away from your destination, it only takes one time for tragedy to strike,” Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director said in the release.
Minnesota law requires all drivers and passengers to buckle up correctly – low and snug across the hips or thighs – or be seated in the correct child restraint.
A seat belt ticket is $25, but can cost more than $100 with fees, the department said.
Most Minnesotans are wearing their seat belts
According to the department's 2016 Minnesota Observational Seat Belt Survey:
A whopping 93 percent of people riding in the front seat were belted in. That's good news, because the department says seat belts saved an estimated 227 Minnesotans last year.
On the other hand, that percentage is lower than it has been the last four years.
Males buckle up at a lower rate than females, with men at 90 percent compliance and women at 96.5 percent.
But the group with the lowest rate of compliancy is pickup truck drivers, with 83.6 percent.
Save a life
Authorities say 91 unbelted motorists lost their lives on Minnesota roads last year, and 77 percent of people who were ejected or partially ejected and died were not wearing a seat belt.
During a five year period from 2011 – 2015, over a third of the 1,379 people killed while riding in motor vehicles weren't wearing their seat belts.
“You significantly increase your chances of surviving a crash if you buckle up every time you get in the vehicle," Berger said.