More than four of 10 Minnesotans killed in traffic crashes failed to buckle their seat belts. And 84 percent of those unbelted deaths happened outside the seven-county metro area.
Hoping to improve those statistics, nearly 400 state law enforcement agencies will launch a two-week belt-enforcement patrol starting Monday, part of an unprecedented national crackdown on unbelted motorists.
Of 852 motorists killed in crashes between 2010 and ’12, 42 percent were unbuckled and 42 percent where under 30.
“These staggering percentages prove that there is a still a major issue with seat-belt use among teens and young adults, especially in Greater Minnesota,” said Donna Berger, state director of traffic safety.
Seat-belt use continues to climb in Minnesota, at 92.7 percent in 2011, compared to a national average of 84 percent.
Minnesota law requires all passengers — including those in the back seats — to buckle up or face $120 fines.