Lack of seat belt use in Greater Minnesota, and areas such as Polk County, is a serious problem.

Lack of seat belt use in Greater Minnesota, and areas such as Polk County, is a serious problem. In fact, belt use is significantly lower here than in the Twin Cities area.         

    According to the Office of Traffic Safety, Minnesota law requires all motorists to buckle up or be seated in the correct child restraint. Officers will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers.

    Seat belts must be worn correctly — low and snug across the hips or thighs, and shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.

    “Whether it’s unbuckling to reach down for something or not buckling because you are just a few blocks away from your destination, it only takes one time for tragedy to strike,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “You significantly increase your chances of surviving a crash if you buckle up every time you get in the vehicle.”

    The Polk County Towards Zero Deaths Coalition would like to encourage you to make the decision to buckle up every seat every time you get in your vehicle.

    In an effort to increase seatbelt usage in Polk County, the Polk County Towards Zero Deaths Coalition and AAA of Minnesota have teamed together.

    AAA of Minnesota awarded Polk County Public Health and the Coalition a $300 grant. This grant was used to purchase sixty, $5 gas gift cards. These gift cards were distributed amongst the Crookston Police Department and the East Grand Forks Police Department. If you were seen wearing your seatbelt properly, you may have been awarded one of the sixty gift cards.

    Polk County Public Health and the Polk County Towards Zero Death Coalition ask you to buckle every seat every time, no matter where you are going or how far away it is.

    Extra seat belt enforcement and education efforts are a part of the Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative, and Polk County Public Health.

    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.