Motorists and passengers are reminded to buckle up this spring as extra seat belt patrols take to the roads statewide May 20 - June 2. Winona County Law Enforcement agencies are among nearly 400 Minnesota agencies increasing patrols to encourage motorists to buckle up.
In the last three years on Minnesota roads there were 864 traffic deaths, of which 41 percent were not buckled up.
In Winona County during this time period, 7 unbelted motorists were killed and 4 were seriously injured.
Sheriff Dave Brand says statistics show that teens and young adults continue to represent a large percentage of unbelted traffic deaths, which indicates there is still a major issue with seat belt usage among that age group.
In Minnesota, drivers and passengers in all seating positions, including in the back seat, are required to be buckled up or seated in the correct child restraint. Officers will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers. Seat belts must be worn correctly - low and snug across the hips; shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.
In a crash, odds are six times greater for injury if a motorist is not buckled up.