The number of people killed in crashes in Minnesota who weren’t wearing a seatbelt rose in 2021 for the second year in a row.

Now the ‘Click It or Ticket’ statewide seat belt campaign is underway until June 5 in a bid to stop “preventable” loss to families.

Troopers, deputies and officers are participating in the initiative, which includes extra patrols and advertising across Minnesota​ in support of the Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety initiative.

“When a life is lost because of no seat belt, it’s very discouraging because it so easily could’ve been prevented,” said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director.

“That’s it. It’s over for that person and for loved ones and friends left behind. When you’re heading out, please make the wise, caring choice to wear your seat belt and refuse to put the vehicle in drive until passengers buckle up as well. Drive smart and live.”

Preliminary counts from the Office of Traffic Safety show 108 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads in 2021, up three from 2020 when 105 died. This is 48 percent higher than the 73 unbelted deaths in 2019 and the highest number since 2014.