Editorial: It’s high time people buckled up for life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2004

It’s high time.

While local seat belt enforcement may have died down a bit, efforts to ensure the safety of drivers have only just begun.

As part of a mobilization grant from Safe and Sober, local law enforcement officers stepped it up a notch and worked overtime from May 24 to June 6 to enforce the use of seat belts.

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Over one weekend, from May 28 to June 1, officers stopped 150 cars and issued 35 seat belt violations, along with 28 speeding violations.

Tickets for seat belt violations carry an $87 fine.

People should not have been surprised by the tickets. Not wearing a seatbelt has been an offense for years. The law requiring seat belt use was enacted to save lives. And now the Minnesota Legislature had been considering a bill which would make seat belt violations a primary offense, which means officers can pull people over if they see them not using seatbelts, and the fine is heftier.

There will be another mobilization to enforce seat belt use from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12. The crackdowns are designed to alert the public of what is likely to be an accepted norm in the future.

It’s high time people got used to the idea.

And buckled up to live.