ST. PAUL - Ten years after Minnesota implemented a primary seat belt law, law enforcement is conducting another “Click It or Ticket” campaign May 20-June 2 to remind motorists that seat belts and child car seats can save lives.
The primary seat belt law took effect June 9, 2009 in honor of Meghan Cooper, who attended school at Kenyon-Wanamingo in southeastern Minnesota community of Kenyon. The unbuckled 15-year-old died in 1999 after being ejected in a crash from the rear seat of a car.
A year prior to the primary seat belt law, 152 unbelted motorists lost their lives on Minnesota roads. In 2018, preliminary numbers show that number decreased to 92, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a news release.
In the five years (2004-2008) leading up to the law, 51% of all fatalities (1,008) were known to be unbelted motorists. In the last five years (2014-2018), that number decreased to 34% (446), the DPS said.
Minnesota law states that drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or seated in the correct child safety seat.
According to the 2018 Minnesota Seat Belt Survey, 92% of front seat occupants are wearing their seat belts.