Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson is making no excuses for failing to buckle up while driving to a restaurant in Eden Prairie but wonders whether his tinted windows are what first caught the attention of police.
Peterson, whose triple-digit speedometer encounter with Edina police got him in trouble a couple of years ago, was stopped in his Range Rover and ticketed Monday afternoon in his city of residence for not wearing his seat belt.
"I'm to blame!!!" Peterson noted on his Twitter account. "Make sure you wear ur seat belt at all time."
Police pulled Peterson over at Prairie Center Drive and Columbine Road shortly after 3 p.m. That's about a half-mile from his dining destination.
"Noodle&Company sounds nice right about now! Unfortunately as of now I'm delayed," he told his Twitter followers.
Noting his vehicle's tinted windows, Peterson added that Eden Prairie police must "have super human vision!" He also suggested that the darkened windows may have drawn initial police suspicion, tweeting, "I got tint and that didn't help."
City spokeswoman Katie Beal said that officers were monitoring that location "specifically for seat-belt violations" and clearly saw through Peterson's front windshield that he was not buckled up. He was cited only for that offense -- his tinted windows were within the law -- and he didn't put up a fuss, Beal added.
In 2009, when police pulled Peterson over on Crosstown Hwy. 62 in Edina for going 109 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone, the Viking expressed surprise that he had been clocked going that fast. He pleaded guilty to driving 99 mph.
A seat-belt violation in Eden Prairie carries with it fines and fees totaling $103, said Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesman Nathan Bowie. That total is not out of line with many jurisdictions in the state, Bowie said.
Peterson's latest citation came during the state's enhanced "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign, which began Friday and runs through Oct. 27.
Eden Prairie certainly did its part Monday. From about 30 minutes before Peterson was stopped until 6:30 p.m., officers in that same area issued 34 citations for seat-belt violators, Beal said.
In announcing the campaign, the DPS's Office of Traffic Safety noted that during 2008-2010 there were 409 deaths of people in the state who were not wearing seat belts, along with 814 "serious, life-altering injuries" suffered by others who didn't buckle up.
In 2009, police were given authority in Minnesota to pull over vehicles solely for a suspected seat-belt violation. Previously, citations for not buckling up could be issued only when stops were made for other traffic offenses.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482