Click It or Ticket seat belt effort

Motorists and passengers should make sure they are buckled up as extra Click It or Ticket seat belt patrols take place not only in Anoka County, but statewide May 20-June 2.

Law enforcement agencies in Anoka County will be among nearly 400 agencies in Minnesota increasing patrols to encourage people to wear seat belts.

buckle upIn the last three years on Minnesota roads (2010-2012), there were 864 traffic deaths, of which 352 (41 percent) were not buckled up, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. Of those 352 killed, 41 percent were motorists ages 16-29.

“Statistics show that teens and young adults continue to represent a large percentage of unbelted traffic deaths, which indicates there is still a major issue with seat belt usage among that age group,” said Sgt. Jeff Warner, who coordinates the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) campaign in Anoka County.

“For whatever reason – be it comfort, restriction or philosophy – some motorists and passengers still refuse to wear their seat belts.

“We ask them to remember that their minor inconvenience could turn out to be a major life saver.”

In Minnesota, drivers and passengers in all seating positions, including in the back seat, are required to be buckled up or seated in the correct child restraint.

Officers will stop and ticket unbelted motorists or passengers.

The Anoka County TZD program group stresses the importance of promoting the seat belt enforcement to encourage belt use.

“The last thing we care to do is write seat belt tickets,” Warner said.

“We are encouraging motorists to be the true enforcers of the law and speak up to remind others to belt up.”