Nisswa, Minnesota The Nisswa Police Department will work with other local, county and state law enforcement agencies across the state to keep young drivers safe during a Safe and Sober cooperative enforcement effort this spring.
During enforcement wave, to take place between May 3 and June 2, officers will strictly enforce Minnesota's seatbelt laws during overtime shifts, targeting young drivers in hopes of saving lives.
Over 300 agencies across the state, including the Nisswa Police Department, will work additional shifts dedicated solely to traffic enforcement, concentrating on the youth who are unbelted. The month of May was chosen because young people are often highly mobile during events and celebrations surrounding graduation, proms, and other springtime events.
Young drivers in Minnesota are especially vulnerable; motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of teens in Minnesota and across the nation. Last year, 90 Minnesota youth (ages 15-19) died in crashes up from 86 in 1999. Although teen drivers make up only 6 percent of all licensed drivers, they account for over 15 percent of crashes.
"As parents and as citizens, we owe it to our youth to protect them and teach then the value of responsible driving behavior," says Chief Craig Taylor of the Nisswa Police. "It may not be fun to get a ticket, but it's preferable to being killed or injured
or injuring someone else."
The Nisswa Police Department will take part in the Safe and Sober Program throughout the year, participating in enforcement waves dedicated to impaired driving, occupant protection, child passenger safety, aggressive driving and other traffic safety issues.
The Safe and Sober program is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.