20 motorists cited for seat belts in campaign

Published 10:00 pm Sunday, June 17, 2018

Police issue other citations for drugs, speeding

The Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office ticketed 20 motorists for not wearing their seat belts during the statewide extra enforcement campaign May 21 through June 3.

More than 300 agencies participated in the Click It or Ticket campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.

In addition to the seat belt citations, officers and deputies cited or arrested for the following:

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• 18 for no driver’s license or driving after a license was withdrawn

• 19 for speeding

• four for driving under the influence

• one for petty drug offense

• two for felony drug offenses

• three for insurance violations

• two for underage drinking and driving

• one for an arrest warrant

According to a press release, if you wear your seat belt in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and of a moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.

The release stated an estimated 8 percent of Minnesotans travel unbuckled. Those people represent 30 percent of motor vehicle occupants killed in 2016.

“I’m so thankful for the majority of Minnesotans who expect the unexpected and choose to wear seat belts,” said Albert Lea Police Lt. Jeff Strom. “For Minnesotans who refuse to buckle up because they don’t like being told what to do, figure they’re not endangering anybody else or aren’t traveling far, whatever the reason, it’s a selfish one. Think about life without you in it. I’ve seen what happens to families and friends left behind. Please buckle up and be there for yourself and others.”

Minnesota law requires drivers and passengers in all seating positions to be buckled up or seated in the correct child safety seat.

Seat belts must be worn low and snug across the hips, and shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back. Children must be in a child restraint until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least 8, whichever comes first.