Letter: Be safe, buckle up this summerMinnesota now has a primary seat belt law, which will be an essential tool to increase belt compliance and therefore have the biggest impact in limiting many Minnesota traffic tragedies that are simply preventable.
Minnesota now has a primary seat belt law, which will be an essential tool to increase belt compliance and therefore have the biggest impact in limiting many Minnesota traffic tragedies that are simply preventable.
The primary law means drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or in the correct child restraint, and that law enforcement can stop a vehicle directly for belt violations. A citation can cost from $25 to more than $100.
Washington County has seen the results of far too many crashes involving unbelted motorists and the deaths and injuries involved — ranging from teeth busted out on the steering wheel to being ejected from the vehicle.
Between 2006 and 2008 there were thirty vehicle occupant deaths and 77 life-altering injuries. Ten of those fatalities and 24 of the serious injuries were unbelted motorists and several of those were teens.
These crashes cost the county over $13 million and the fine for not being properly secured in the vehicle is approximately $100.
This law is first and foremost a law to ensure motorists are traveling safely. The true enforcement of this law begins with you. It’s your role as a motorist to speak up and insist your passengers are buckled up.
Parents, set an example for their children starting at birth that can carry over to the teen when they begin driving. Being buckled up means drivers and passengers have a 50 percent greater chance of survival in a vehicle crash if they are swearing their seat belt.
Let’s have a safe summer on the road — Buckle up; every body, every seat, every time. This will not only save lives, it’s the law!
Washington County Safe Communities Coalition