Seat belts save lives

Published 9:04 am Friday, May 11, 2012

Law enforcement across the Rochester area of the state will kick off a season of enhanced enforcement to encourage the use of seat belts.

The ceremony, aimed particularly at graduation time, begins at 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Northfield hospital.

In Minnesota, from 2007-11, more than 1600 motorists were killed in crashes and only 45 percent were known to be buckled up. Similarly, during this same time period in southeastern Minnesota, 206 motorists were killed in traffic crashes and only 45 percent were known to be belted.

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Speakers at the kickoff will include Dani Fiebelkorn, a teen driver who survived a rollover on Interstate 35 in October 2011 thanks to wearing her seat belt. Speakers from the fields of law enforcement and medicine will be present, too.

The southeastern Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths initiative brings area law enforcement, public health educators, engineers and emergency medical and trauma services together to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and severe injuries to zero in southeastern Minnesota. The 11-county area encompasses: Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha and Winona counties.