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Click It or Ticket: 41 percent of motorists killed in last 5 years weren't buckled in

Even though most Minnesotans buckle up, 587 people died and 9,739 were injured in the last five years on Minnesota roads as a result of not being belted. That’s why nearly 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies are adding extra patrols during the Click It or Ticket campaign May 19-June 1, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS/OTS).

“There are far too many preventable deaths and life-altering injuries occurring on our roads,” said Donna Berger, OTS director. “In the next two weeks, you’ll see and hear our seat belt safety messages throughout the state. Buckle up, it’s the law and it’s your best defense in case of a crash.”

A record-number of Minnesotans use their seat belts (94.8 percent), but a significant number (41.3 percent) of motor vehicle occupants who were killed in the last five years (2009-2013) were not wearing seat belts. In 2013 alone, 94 people died and 1,668 were injured who were not buckled up.

On average, three of four child seats are not used correctly. Included in the 2009-2013 statistics are eight children under age 8 who were killed and another 1,105 injured because they were not properly restrained in car seats.

Data from 2009-2013 also shows:

• More than 40 percent (237 of 587) of unbelted fatalities were between 15 to 29 years old.

• Nearly 64 percent (190 of 298) of drinking drivers killed were not wearing a seat belt.

• Nearly 44 percent (474 of 1,084) of those killed in greater Minnesota crashes were unbelted compared to 33 percent (113 of 339) in the seven-county metro area.

Minnesota seat belt law is a primary offense, meaning drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or in the correct child restraint. A seat belt ticket can cost between $25 to more than $100.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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