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Increased seat belt patrols take to Minnesota roads

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Extra Click It or Ticket seat belt patrols take to the roads Oct. 12-26 statewide in Minnesota.

The State Patrol is among nearly 400 Minnesota agencies increasing patrols to encourage motorists to buckle up. Nationally, over 10,000 agencies will be participating as well. In the last three years on Minnesota roads, 377 motorists were not buckled up, representing 43 percent of the total motorist deaths. Of those killed, 41 percent were motorists ages 16-29. "Non-belt use is a major problem with teens and young adults, and as a result, they are over-represented in traffic deaths," says Sgt. Jesse Grabow, Public Information Officer. In Minnesota, drivers and passengers in all seating positions, including the back seat, are required to be buckled up or seated in the correct child restraint. Seat belts must be worn correctly -- low and snug across the hips; shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.

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"We would rather see everyone buckling up than to have to write tickets," says Sgt. Grabow. "We are encouraging that motorists be responsible users of the road and to help remind others to belt up."

The Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement and education is a component of the state's Toward Zero Death (TZD) initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes -- education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

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