Officers on patrol for seat belt violations in Morrison County this spring

Motorists and passengers are reminded to buckle up this spring as extra “click it or ticket” seat belt patrols take to the roads statewide May 20 –  June 2. The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office is among nearly 400 Minnesota agencies increasing patrols to encourage motorists to buckle up. In the last three years on Minnesota roads there were 864 traffic deaths, of which 352 were not buckled up. 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 unbuckled traffic deaths, which indicates there is still a major issue with seat belt usage among that group,” said Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel. “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 the back seat are required to be buckled up or be seated in a correct child restraint. Officers will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers.

In rollover crashes, unbelted motorists are usually ejected from the vehicle. In most cases the vehicle will roll over them causing serious injury or death. Even in less severe accidents, unbelted motorists will often crack teeth out on the steering wheel or break their nose.

“Save yourself from injury, death, or at the very least an expensive ticket, and just buckle your seat belt,” said Wetzel.