Nisswa, Minnesota - Officers from the Nisswa Police Department will put in overtime enforcement hours for a Safe & Sober campaign focusing on Seat Belt Safety over the Independence Day holiday travel period. During the enforcement wave, to take place between June 28 and July 7, more than 350 law enforcement agencies and all districts of the Minnesota State Patrol will enforce Minnesota's seat belt law in an effort to ensure that all Minnesotans are riding safely. According to Minnesota law, Officers must have stopped a vehicle for another moving violation before they can issue a belt citation.
"One person in Minnesota is killed every 13.5 hours in a motor vehicle crash", says Sgt. Tim Holmes, "and it doesn't have to be that way. Buckling up cuts the risk of dying in a crash by half. We want people to avoid getting tickets
but mostly, we want them to avoid the tragedy of losing their life, or the life of a loved one."
Seat belt use in Minnesota is higher than the national average, with about 72 percent of Minnesotans buckling up. But numbers vary regionally. During the week of June 3, local Officers performed an informal seat belt survey and discovered that 73 percent of area motorists are riding buckled-in. Surveys are conducted periodically, before and after enforcement waves, to determine the change in behavior caused by enforcement. The Nisswa Police Department would like to see 100 percent of the motorists traveling this summer to be buckled-in.
The Safe & Sober program, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is designed to reduce the number of traffic crashes, increase safety belt use and educate youth.