‘Click It or Ticket’ Extra Seat Belt Enforcement in West Central Minnesota Kicks Off
Nearly 100 Minnesota drivers were killed last year because they weren't buckled up
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Local law enforcement officers say the first line of defense in a car crash is wearing a seat belt.
But according to this year’s Seat Belt Survey, only 79 percent of west central Minnesota drivers are buckling up.
“A lot of times people start to think that, ‘Hey, you know, most of those crashes just happen where is the most population, maybe in that Twin Cities metro area.’ When we look at the statistics, that’s not always true,” said Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow.
They say they hear almost every excuse in the book as to why drivers aren’t strapping in.
“Sometimes it’s that, ‘I wasn’t going very far,’ or ‘I drive this road all the time.’ Maybe it’s, ‘I’ve never worn my seat belt,'” said West Central Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Regional Director Katy Kressin.
The Click It or Ticket campaign means more state troopers will be on the road looking for unbuckled drivers from now until the end of the month.
Their hope is to change local drivers’ habits and make the roads safer for everybody.
“What’s right around the corner? Winter. So, we’re going to see an increase in the amount of crashes generally. Just people slipping and sliding off the roads, and the seat belt is going to be your best line of defense if you find yourself in a crash,” said Grabow.
This 30 miles–per–hour simulator shows how the difference between buckling up and not can mean life or death in the event of a crash.
“It’s simple. They’re in every vehicle. Take the time to put the seat belt on. And even if you got a car full of people, one person that’s not buckled up, you get in a crash, that person them self can become a flying projectile, hurting and risking other people’s lives in the vehicle, so just wear your seat belt. It’s going to help save your life and save the lives of others, it really can,” he added.
They say their goal isn’t to write tickets or make arrests.
“Bottom line is that seat belts save lives and we need to be better about putting our seat belts on and protecting ourselves and others,” said Kressin.
West central Minnesota is joining more than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state in the Click It or Ticket campaign.