Seatbelt Usage in Minnesota
Wearing seatbelts has been the law in Minnesota since August of 1986, but it was not until June 2009 that the state utilized primary enforcement. This means that a police officer is able to stop a vehicle and ticket the person just because someone was not wearing a seatbelt. In states without this allowance, a person may only be ticketed if they are stopped for another reason.
The seatbelt law is applicable to anyone eight years old and older in any seat. If they fail to obey the law, they may be subject to a fine of $25 for a first offense. In addition, Michigan has a law for child safety seats, which requires children seven years old and younger to be placed in one of those for all trips. Failure to obey this law may result in a fine of $50 for a first offense.
In 2012, it had a rate of 94 percent of seatbelt usage as compared to the national average of 86 percent. This high rate of usage is reflected in the lower traffic fatality rate. In 2015, Minnesota reported a rate of 7.5 per 100,000 population, which is below the national average of 10.9.
Minnesota’s rate of seatbelt use has increased over the past several years. In 2007, it was 87.8 percent, and that number has continued to improve. In 2014, the rate was 94.7 percent. Even though it has a positive rate of use for seatbelts, it is part of the fourth place Midwest region, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA). The region has a rate of 81.7 percent compared to first place West region with 95.0 percent. The Midwest region is at the bottom of the list, coming in at more than 13 percent less than the West.