County officers issue 443 seat belt citationsLaw enforcement officers in Washington County cited 443 unbelted motorists during the Safe & Sober seat belt “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign.
By: Special to the Bulletin, Woodbury Bulletin
Law enforcement officers from the cities of Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Forest Lake, Oakdale, Bayport, Oak Park Heights, Stillwater and St. Paul Park, along with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office cited 443 unbelted motorists during the statewide Safe & Sober seat belt “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign, May 19 to June 1.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) coordinated the efforts of approximately 400 agencies to increase seat belt use and prevent fatal and injury crashes.
The enforcement effort was a nationwide campaign.
A seat belt citation is $25, but can cost as much as $115 with court costs and added fees.
Of 1,274 vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2004–2006, more than half were not wearing seat belts.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) estimates around half of those killed would have survived if they were buckled up. In the last three years in Washington County, 32 died and 12 of those were unbelted.
Another 106 unbelted motorists were seriously injured during this period. The estimated economic impact of the unbelted deaths and serious injuries in Washington County in 2004–2006 is $15,270,500.
“Until every motorist buckles up every ride, Minnesota will continue to see unbelted traffic deaths, which account for more than 200 deaths a year,” said Sgt. Curt Zacharias of the Woodbury Police Department. “A seat belt is your best defense on the road against speeding, distracted and impaired drivers.”
The Safe & Sober effort is coordinated by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) as a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death initiative (TZD). TZD is a multi-agency approach to address traffic issues regionally through enforcement, education, engineering and emergency trauma care and response.