The Duluth Police Department announced this week they are part of statewide campaign to make sure motorists are following Minnesota's seat belt laws.

Statistics have consistently shown that buckling up saves lives and the message from Minnesota law enforcement agencies is loud and clear: Buckle Up. Seat Belts Are Not Optional. To make sure motorists are getting the message, they are increasing seat belt patrols.

The Duluth Police Department announced their participation in the campaign through their Facebook page:

To remind motorists that the quick action of buckling up is a lifesaver, not an inconvenience, DPD is joining law enforcement agencies statewide in extra seat belt patrols. We all can do our part to prevent a tragedy on the roadways. Make sure you buckle up, every time.

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Recent statistics from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety show just important buckling up can be.

  • In 2020, 105 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads compared to 73 in 2019. The 105 unbelted motorist deaths in 2020 are the highest since 2014 (106).
  • 2020 saw the highest number of unbelted fatalities (13) of 15-19-year-olds since 2011 (20). This year, 1 unbelted teen 15-19-years-old died on Minnesota roads, compared with 2 this time last year.
  • 2020 saw the highest number of unbelted fatalities (31) of 25-39-year-olds since 2012 (36).
  • In 2020, 79 percent of the unbelted deaths occurred in Greater Minnesota (outside the seven-county metro area).

In Minnesota, the law states that drivers and passengers in all seating positions must 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, which means low and snug across the hips, and shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.

Law enforcement is always on the lookout for unbelted drivers or passengers, including those in the back seat. Those found not in compliance with seat belt law will be subject to a fine that can cost cost more than $100.

The bottom line is that seat belts restrain motorists in the vehicle’s designed protective space, giving them room to live in the event of a crash. Seat belts also keep a motorist correctly positioned behind the wheel to help maintain control of a vehicle.

Wearing your seat belt will keep you from crashing into the windshield, slamming into and injuring other passengers and being ejected from the vehicle.

In a nutshell, Minnesota law enforcement agencies want to make sure everyone is buckled up for their safety and because it's the law.

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