ST. PAUL, MN --- Minnesota's new seat belt law, which allows law enforcement officers to stop and cite a motorist solely for a seat belt violation, went into effect Tuesday, June 9.
The new law requires that everyone traveling in a vehicle wear a seat belt or, in the case of children, a legal child restraint. Violations carry a $25 fine, the Savage Pacer newspaper reported.
Previously, state law required that officers had to witness and stop the driver for another violation before they could issue a seat belt citation. But starting this week, seat belt violations are primary offenses.
According to data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, each year an average of 200 unbelted motorists are killed and 400 suffer life-altering injuries in the state.
The change in policy is the result of the Katherine Swanson Seat Belt Safety Act.