St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News)- Authorities across Minnesota issued thousands of tickets during a recent seat belt enforcement effort. 

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The latest click-it-or-ticket campaign ran statewide from May 22-June 4. 286 law enforcement agencies took part in the campaign, including the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, Rochester Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol's southeast Minnesota district. 

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that authorities statewide wrote 2,382 tickets for seatbelt violations. 34 of those tickets were issued by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, three were written by Rochester Police and state troopers in southeast Minnesota dished out 143 citations. 

State Patrol photo (twitter)
State Patrol photo (twitter)

“Most Minnesotans don’t give buckling up a second thought because it’s such a simple way to stay safe,” said Mike Hanson, director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). “If you don’t like seat belts, ask your loved ones if they hope you get home alive. Think about their lives without you and make the smart choice to be there for them.” 

MnDOT Facebook
MnDOT Facebook

State officials say some of the stops involved unbuckled children and impaired drivers. A recap of the seatbelt crackdown includes: 

  • MSP Airport Police arrested two different drivers the same night. Each had four unrestrained children in the vehicle.
  • A Rogers Police officer, just three minutes into their seat belt enforcement shift, pulled over a driver for not wearing a seat belt. The driver was arrested for DWI.
  • St. Paul Police pulled over a driver who had three children under the age of six not properly belted, including an infant only in a car seat shell. The driver was cited for the improper child restraint and also driving after revocation.
  • A trooper in the Virginia district stopped a driver for improperly wearing a seat belt. The driver was wearing the shoulder strap below their arm and not across their chest as it should be properly worn. They were arrested for third-degree DWI (controlled substance).

State traffic officials say 93% of Minnesota motorists were observed to be in complaint with the state’s seatbelt law. Traffic fatalities involving unbuckled Minnesotans as of June 11 are down from 34 last year to 24 this year. 

Officials say 87 who died in traffic crashes last year were not buckled up and that a majority of those deaths occurred outside of the Twin Cities Metro. Information on meeting car seat requirements are available by clicking here.

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