More than 1,100 tickets in Minnesota seatbelt enforcement effort


Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) – 1,164 motorists were cited for seat belt violations during a statewide “click it or ticket” enforcement effort in Minnesota last month.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) said law enforcement also issued 27 citations for violations of the state’s child seat law. The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office was one of 281 law enforcement agencies participating in the enforcement and education campaign that ran Sept. 18-24.

Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office Photo

Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office Photo

Olmsted County deputies stopped more than 300 motorists during the campaign and cited two drivers for state seatbelt violations. Soldiers from the Minnesota Southeast District of the State Patrol issued 61 tickets for seatbelt violations, the second among the agency’s five non-metropolitan districts:

  • Minnesota State Patrol – District 2700 (Duluth) – 83
  • Minnesota State Patrol – District 2100 (Rochester) – 61
  • Minnesota State Patrol – District 3100 (Virginia) – 56
  • Minnesota State Patrol – District 2600 (St. Cloud) – 45
  • Minnesota State Patrol – District 2900 (Detroit Lakes) – 43
  • Mankato Public Security Department – 28

The DPS says 61 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads between Jan. 1 and Oct. 2 of this year. This is the lowest death toll for this period since 2019.

Related: Minnesota speeding crackdown leads to nearly 19,000 tickets

Authorities offered notable traffic stops that occurred during the crackdown. One involved a woman driving down a highway in southeastern Minnesota with a child in her lap:

  • Lonsdale Police stopped a vehicle on Highway 19 because a toddler was sitting in the lap of the parent who was driving. The driver was cited for not having a child restraint in the vehicle. An officer drove the other parent home to pick up a vehicle equipped with a child restraint.
  • A soldier working in the Duluth district pulled over a driver for not wearing a seat belt. The driver ended up being arrested for DWI.
  • A North Branch police stop for a seat belt violation resulted in a controlled substance arrest. They found 20 grams of marijuana wax and 88 grams of marijuana in the vehicle.
  • St. Paul police stopped a vehicle for a seat belt violation. It was the fifth year in a row that the officer stopped this driver during the seat belt campaign. All five stops were at the same intersection for the same violation. Wouldn’t it be better to spend over $100 in fines at a concert, sporting event, dinner with a friend, or on a day trip?

Officials also offered clarity and safety tips when it comes to making sure kids are in the right car seat:

  • Rear-Facing Seats: All infants and toddlers should be seated in a rear-facing car seat until they have reached the height and weight limits allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. car seat.
  • 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 until they reach the harness weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
  • Booster Seats: School-aged children who have reached the height and weight limits for the forward-facing seat can ride in a booster seat. The booster must be used with a lap and shoulder belt.
  • Seat belts: The seat belt is reserved for children 8 years old or who have reached 4 feet 9 inches. Your children are ready for adult seat belts when they can sit with their backs against the vehicle seat, their knees bent comfortably and completely over the edge of the seat without slouching, and their feet touching the floor.

A press release says the campaign included law enforcement, education and awareness. Officials say the goal of the week-long effort was to influence smart seat belt choices.

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