Seventy-seven percent of Minnesota motorists buckled upWest 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 observational survey was conducted in September, and data were collected in 10 counties.
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 observational survey was conducted in September, and data were collected in 10 counties.
“It is so important that we continue to educate area motorists about the importance of buckling up to stop these preventable traffic deaths,” said Captain Bruce Hentges, Minnesota State Patrol District 2900. Their ultimate goal is to reach 100 percent.
Hentges reminds motorists that increased belt use results in fewer unbelted deaths.
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. 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.