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DPS: Seat Belt Use Reaches Record High In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Motorists and passengers in Minnesota are buckling up more than ever.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, an annual observational seat belt use survey conducted in June showed a 94.8 percent seat belt use rate. That's 15 percent higher than in 2003 and up from 93.6 percent in 2012.

The announcement of the increased rate comes during the statewide "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign that runs through Oct. 19.

There's still room for improvement, however.

"Seat belts save lives, and the increase in belt use is a positive sign that more and more people realize that," Donna Berger, office of traffic safety director, said. "However, more than 100 unbelted motorists and passengers are killed every year on Minnesota roads. We ask everyone to do their part to reduce these preventable tragedies by buckling up, every ride, every time."

In 1986, the year Minnesota first passed a seat belt law, belt compliance was 20 percent and there were 280 unbelted deaths that year.

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