The state still isn't all the way to the ultimate goal, but it's a little bit closer.  In a press release from Northeast Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths, it was announced that Northeastern Minnesota new seat belt compliance rate is 80.5 percent, reflecting a slight increase— last year’s belt use rate was 80.3 percent.

They state that the Northeastern Minnesota region has shown slight improvement in belt use rates when compared to other Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths regions. The survey results were announced in conjunction with a statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement effort that lasted through Oct. 26.

The observational survey was conducted in May and data were collected at eight counties.

“Rural areas see more unbelted deaths. Increased belt use results in fewer unbelted deaths, but everyone needs to buckle up,” says Holly Kostrzewski, northeastern Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths coordinator.  “Seatbelt use is historically lower in rural areas compared to the Twin Cities.  Seatbelt use is the best defense in the case of a crash. It is important we continue to educate area motorists about the importance of buckling up to stop these preventable traffic deaths. Our ultimate goal is 100 percent compliance and by working toward that more people will make it home safely.”