ST. PAUL, Minn. - The wallets of nearly 11,000 Minnesotans are a bit lighter after a statewide law enforcement crackdown on those who aren't using seatbelts.
The Click It or Ticket seat belt and child car seat enforcement campaign ran from May 19 to June 1 and resulted in 10,874 seat belt citations. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, which coordinated the effort, says 279 child seat citations were also written.
"These numbers indicate far too many people are risking their lives and the lives of the people riding with them," said Donna Berger, OTS director. "The Click It or Ticket enforcement and education campaign reminds motorists that buckling up not only is the law, it's your best defense in case of a crash."
Traffic safety officials say 329 law enforcement agencies took part in the campaign.
A similar effort in May 2013 cited 10,342 motorists.
Minnesota's seat belt law is a primary offense, meaning drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or in the correct child restraint. In the case of child seats, a child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches is required to be fastened in a child safety seat or booster seat that meets federal safety standards.
Under this law, a child cannot use a seat belt alone until they are age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall – whichever comes first. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster based on their height, rather than their age. Children under age 13 should always ride in the back seat.