From today through the 19th of October, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will be coordinating a police effort to ensure that drivers are wearing their seat belt. Four hundred law enforcement agencies will be involved. Fines will range from $25.00 to $115.00 and can be a reason for other charges with the stop.
With a decrease already being seen in traffic deaths in Minnesota, it is hoped that this effort will reduce the number further. Oklahoma State University recently looked at the reason why people don’t wear their seat belts and provided the following information:
What’s Your Reason For Not Wearing One?
"I’m only going to the shopping center." Actually, this is the best time to wear a safety belt, since 80% of traffic fatalities occur within 25 miles of home and under 40 miles an hour.
"I won’t be in an accident: I’m a good driver." Your good driving record will certainly help you avoid accidents. But even if you’re a good driver, a bad driver may still hit you.
"I’ll just brace myself." Even if you had the split-second timing to do this, the force of the impact would shatter the arm or leg you used to brace yourself.
"I’m afraid the belt will trap me in the car." Statistically, the best place to be during an accident is in your car. If you’re thrown out of the car, you’re 25 times more likely to die. And if you need to get out of the car in a hurry – as in the extremely tiny percent of accidents involving fire or submergence – you can get out a lot faster if you haven’t been knocked unconscious inside your car.
"They’re uncomfortable." Actually, modern safety belts can be made so comfortable that you may wonder if they really work. Most of them give when you move – a device locks them in place only when the car stops suddenly. You can put a little bit of slack in most belts simply by pulling on the shoulder strap. Others come with comfort clips, which hold the belt in a slightly slackened position. If the belt won’t fit around you, you can get a belt extender at most car dealerships.
"I don’t need a belt – I’ve got an airbag." Lucky you! An air bag increases the effectiveness of a safety belt by 40 percent. But air bags were never meant to be used in place of safety belts, since they don’t protect against side impacts at all.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.