Large drop in seat belt violations as Minnesotans buckle up


It seems like Minnesotans are getting the message about wearing their seat belts when driving, with results from a two-week police crackdown showing a significant drop in violations.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety revealed Wednesday its "Click it or Ticket" campaign that ran from Memorial Day weekend through the end of May saw 7,393 motorists cited for not buckling up.

This represents a drop of 32 percent from the 10,874 citations handed out during the 2014 campaign, which in itself was significantly less than the number handed out a few years earlier in 2012, when there were 12,639 violations.

More than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state took part in the campaign, and while numbers of violations are falling, the DPS says there is still much work to do – for example in one case, a driver was ticketed twice on the same day in different vehicles for not wearing their belt.

"We are encouraged by the increased number of motorists making the right choice by buckling up," said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director.

"However, with nearly 7,400 people still failing to wear their seat belts, we ask drivers and passengers to speak up about buckling up if somebody is unbelted in their vehicle. Unbelted motorists not only risk their own lives, but put the lives of others in danger as well."

Child seat violations fall 37 percent

There was a fall in the number of drivers cited for child seat violations during last month's operation – with 175 tickets handed out because children weren't in the proper restraints.

The DPS said that of 22 children up to the age of seven killed in traffic crashed between 2010 and 2014 in Minnesota, only 55 percent were properly restrained.

Enforcing seat belt law is seen as an effective way of cutting down the number of fatal crashes. The DPS said 30 people who died on Minnesota roads between January and May were not wearing seat belts, with 10 in April alone.

A study carried out in January meanwhile found that one in six Minnesota motorists are considered "high risk" on the roads, either because they drink and drive or regularly violate road laws by not wearing their seat belts, texting while driving, or driving at more than 10 mph over the speed limit.

Next Up

Andrelton Simmons / Minnesota Twins

Twins sign Andrelton Simmons to one-year deal

The former Angels shortstop is a four-time Gold Glove winner.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

police lights

2 people charged in separate Minneapolis homicides that happened hours apart

A woman is accused of stabbing a man in the chest over $60, while a man is accused of accidentally shooting a victim on the man's birthday.

House for sale

Despite pandemic, Twin Cities housing market set records in 2020

Sales were up 7.7% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Target store inside

Target unveils 'limited-edition' home, lifestyle collection with Levi Strauss

The new collection will be available in some stores and everyone online Feb. 28.

Tim Walz

Walz's $52.4 billion budget increases school spending, raises taxes on wealthy

He says the budget will help level the playing field and ensure all Minnesotans have a fair shot at economic recovery,

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 12.55.00 PM

Pictures from Minnesota GOP's Deadwood retreat show no masks, no distancing

The pictures were shared in Chair Jennifer Carnahan's latest email newsletter.

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.


Fasten your seat belts... (literally) extra enforcement starts Monday

It'll save you from a ticket, and maybe even save your life.

Many young people not buckling up in back seat

Safety officials are warning people that it's illegal and unsafe to ride in the back seat without a safety belt. The Public Safety Department says 90 percent of teens and young adults killed in the past few years while riding in the back seat were not wearing seat belts.