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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A statewide crackdown on seat belt law violators is getting underway today in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the State Patrol and over 300 local law enforcement agencies are participating in the Click It or Ticket campaign through November 29th.

“As Minnesotans, we pride ourselves on being responsible. The 93.4 percent of front seat occupants wearing their seat belts in our state is amongst the highest in the country. But for some reason, we’re slipping back into deadly, old habits. With traffic fatalities on the rise, now is not the time to be complacent. Failing to buckle up, even one time, could lead to a lifetime of regret and heartache. A seat belt is your best defense when another driver makes a mistake. Protect yourself and protect your passengers! Drive smart and buckle up so you can come home to your loved ones at the end of the day.”

The department's announcement of the enhanced enforcement effort notes the number of traffic fatalities in Minnesota involving unbelted victims has increased this year. As of November 1st, preliminary reports to the Public Safety Department show 85 unbelted motorists have died on state roads this year. The total on November 1st of last year was 61.

The death toll involving unbelted drivers and vehicle passengers is the highest since 2012. State officials also note the statistics show this year has had the highest number of unbelted fatalities involving teenage motorists since 2013 and the 28 fatalities involving people in the 25 to 39-year-old age group is the highest since 2012.

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