The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) has announced the release of a study showing there were 68 fewer deaths and 320 fewer serious injuries between 2009 and 2011 as a result of the primary seat belt law. The law, which went into effect in June 2009, allows law enforcement to ticket drivers not wearing a seat belt. Prior to passage of the primary seat belt law, drivers could only be ticketed if another law was also broken, thus making the seat belt violation a secondary offense.
The study shows the primary seat belt law has increased seatbelt use among Minnesotans from 87 percent in 2008 to 93 percent in 2011. Support for the law is up from 62 to 70 percent. The increased seatbelt use and reduction of serious injuries has resulted in $45 million in avoided hospital charges.
A strong coalition including the Minnesota Safety Council and AAA-Minnesota/Iowa, along with the DPS and many other public safety oriented groups, worked together to pass the primary seat belt law. To read more of the study click on the link Impact of Primary Seat Belt Law Study. Winthrop & Weinstine was pleased to represent the Minnesota Safety Council and AAA-Minnesota/Iowa in this effort.