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Law enforcement cite more than 1,900 unbelted motorists during Click It or Ticket campaign

ST. PAUL — It’s the single easiest thing motorists can do to protect themselves in a crash — buckle up. While most Minnesotans know the importance of wearing their seat belt, there are still too many people not buckling themselves or their children in the vehicle.

Click It or Ticket campaign results

• Officers, deputies and troopers from 272 agencies issued 1,922 seat belt citations and 108 child restraint citations during the Click It or Ticket campaign May 20 through June 2.

• That compares to 2,382 seat belt citations and 130 child seat citations in 2023.

• The campaign includes enforcement, education and awareness to influence smart seat belt choices.

“Enforcing the seat belt law is not about writing tickets — it’s about saving lives,” said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Director Mike Hanson, “If any of the more than 1,900 people cited had been in a crash, they may not be here today. It’s easy, it’s smart and it’s the law. Wear your seat belt and get home safe.”

Examples of stops

• Hastings police pulled over a woman wearing her infant in a chest baby carrier. She was issued a child restraint citation.

• A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle after seeing the driver and passenger without their seat belts. The driver was arrested for DWI and drug possession.

• South Lake Minnetonka police pulled over a driver and asked why he wasn’t wearing his seat belt. The driver said, “If I’m meant to die, I’ll die.”

Seat belt citations by agency

In the Twin Cities metro area, agencies with the most seat belt citations included:

• Minnesota State Patrol (west metro region) — 178

• St. Paul Police Department — 170

• Minnesota State Patrol (east metro region) — 88

• Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office — 45

• Bloomington Police Department — 37

• Roseville Police Department — 28

In greater Minnesota, agencies with the most citations included:

• Minnesota State Patrol (Virginia region) — 160

• Minnesota State Patrol (Rochester region) — 116

• Minnesota State Patrol (St. Cloud) — 113

• Minnesota State Patrol (Duluth region) — 86

• Minnesota State Patrol (Detroit Lakes region) — 84

• Minnesota State Patrol (Marshall region) — 43

• Minnesota State Patrol (Mankato region) — 38

• Stearns County Sheriff’s Office — 37

• Minnesota State Patrol (Thief River Falls region) — 35

• Minnesota State Patrol (Brainerd region) — 31

• Clay County Sheriff's Office — 26

View the full list of participating agencies.

Buckling up saves lives

Observational surveys in Minnesota consistently show more than 90 percent of front seat occupants wear seat belts. Troopers, deputies and officers want the small percentage of people who don’t buckle up to stay safe by getting into the habit of wearing their seat belt.

• Preliminary counts show 84 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads in 2023 compared with 87 in 2022 and 110 in 2021.

It’s the law

Minnesota law requires all drivers and passengers to wear seat belts or be in the correct child restraint. Belts should be tight across the hips or thighs and should never be tucked under the arm or behind the back.

All children must be in a child safety seat until they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall or at least 8 years old, whichever comes first.

Learn more about Minnesota’s seat belt law and child passenger safety at:

• DriveSmartMN.org

• BuckleUpKids.dps.mn.gov

About the Minnesota Department Public Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the Office of Traffic Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. These efforts form a strong foundation for the statewide Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety program. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program, child seats for needy families program and school bus stop arm camera project.

 

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