DPS Video: Minnesotans Speak Up about Buckling Up as Extra Seat Belt Patrols Begin Today

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Minnesota Department of Public Safety -  Office of Traffic Safety


Scott Wasserman



Dave Boxum 



Extra Speed Patrols Begin

  • Troopers, deputies and officers are currently conducting extra seat belt patrols through June 6.
  • The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety coordinates the campaign with funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Preliminary reports show 39 unbelted motorists died through May 23 compared with 27 this time last year, a 44 percent increase.
    • This follows a deadly 2020 when 112 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads compared to 73 in 2019.
    • The 112 unbelted motorist deaths in 2020 were also the highest since 2012 (116).

Speaking Up about Buckling Up

  • Minnesotans know the importance of buckling up. To set a good example. To protect their family. To be able to watch their kids grow up. Minnesotans expressed the importance of buckling up in this DPS video.

 Good Decisions Are a Lifesaver

  • In 1987, 4,176 vehicle occupants suffered severe injuries in traffic crashes. That number dropped to 1,056 in 2020.
  • 2020 saw the highest number of unbelted fatalities (13) of 15-19-year-olds since 2011 (20).
  • 2020 saw the highest number of unbelted fatalities (31) of 25-39-year-olds since 2012 (36).
  • In 2020, 79 percent of the unbelted deaths occurred in Greater Minnesota (outside the seven-county metro area).
  • Adults must take the time to correctly use child restraints, teach children the value of buckling up and model seat belt use. From 2016-2020:
    • 20 children (ages 0-7) were killed in motor vehicles.
    • Eight of the victims were properly secured, eight were not properly restrained, and restraint use was unknown in four fatalities.
    • Of the 87 children (ages 0-7) seriously injured in motor vehicles, 49 percent were known to be properly secured. Click It or Ticket: the Law is for Safety
  • Minnesota law states that drivers and passengers in all seating positions must wear seat belts or be in the correct child restraint.
  • Occupants must correctly wear seat belts low and snug across the hips, and they should never tuck straps under an arm or behind the back. If you are unbuckled, expect to be stopped.

 Minnesota Child Car Seat Law Protects Young Lives

  • Of the 15,670 children ages 0-7 that were in crashes from 2016-2020 and were properly restrained, 88 percent were not injured while another 9 percent sustained only possible injuries.
  • In Minnesota, all children must be in a child restraint until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least age 8, whichever comes first.
  • Rear-facing seats - All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they have reached the height and weight limits allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
  • Forward-facing seats with harness - Toddlers and preschoolers who have reached the height and weight limits of the rear-facing car seat should use a forward-facing seat with harness until they reach the weight limit of the harness allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
  • Booster seats - School-age children who have reached the height and weight limits of the forward-facing seat can sit on a booster seat. It must be used with a lap and shoulder belt.
  • Seat belts - Children 8 years old or have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall can buckle up with seat belts. Your child is ready for an adult seat belt when they can sit with their back against the vehicle seat, knees bent comfortably and completely over the vehicle seat edge without slouching, and feet touching the floor.