Seat belt compliance rate in Douglas County region: 77.3 percentWest Central Minnesota’s new seat belt compliance rate is 77.3 percent, according to the area’s first seat belt use survey, conducted by area traffic safety advocates.
West Central Minnesota’s new seat belt compliance rate is 77.3 percent, according to the area’s first seat belt use survey, conducted by area traffic safety advocates.
The west central area includes Douglas County.
The observational survey was conducted in September and data were collected in ten counties.
“It is so important that we continue to educate area motorists about the importance of buckling up to stop these preventable traffic deaths,” says Captain Bruce Hentges, Minnesota State Patrol District 2900. “Our ultimate goal is 100 percent compliance and by working toward that more people will make it home safely.”
Captain Hentges want to remind motorists that increased belt use results in fewer unbelted deaths. “We need everyone to buckle up. A seat belt is the best defense in the case of crash”.
Statewide belt use is a record high 93.6 percent, according to DPS. Officials stress that the regional surveys are unrelated to the statewide survey and cannot be compared to the statewide results. The statewide survey provides a comprehensive gauge of belt use by measuring counties where 85 percent of the state’s road deaths occurred on average during the past three years, while the regional surveys have a smaller sample size and aim to provide an additional snapshot of belt use to measure local progress.
Charting Minnesota Seat Belt Use Rates and Unbelted Deaths
As statewide seat belt use has increased, unbelted deaths have dropped, according to DPS:
--1986 (the year Minnesota first passed a seat belt law): Belt compliance was 20 percent; 280 unbelted deaths.
--2003 (10 years ago): Belt compliance was 79.4 percent; 257 unbelted deaths.
--2008 (five years ago): Belt use was 86.7 percent; 150 unbelted deaths.
--2011: Belt use was 92.6 percent; 120 unbelted deaths.
Regional Seat Belt Use Rates
East Central Minnesota:
--85.1 percent (first time regional belt use survey)
Counties observed — Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Wright.
--80.5 percent, slightly up from 80.3 percent in 2011.
Counties observed (April 2012) — Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, St. Louis.
--73.9 percent, up from 65.8 percent in 2011.
Counties observed (June 2012) — Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau.
--86.7 percent, up from 84.7 percent in 2011.
Counties observed — Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Winona.
South Central Minnesota
--84.7 percent, up from 73.2 percent in 2011.
Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Nobles, Rock, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan.
--82.5 percent, up from 81.1 percent in 2011.
Big Stone, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine.