Even with fewer motorists on the road in 2020, unbelted deaths in Minnesota last year were the highest since 2014.

In 2020, 105 unbelted motorists died, the highest since 2014 when there were 106. Already between January 1 and September 8, 2021, preliminary reports show 68 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads compared with 65 this time last year.

Troopers, deputies and officers will be conducting extra seat belt patrols as part of the Click It or Ticket statewide seat belt campaign, running until September 30.

“Too many Minnesota families are hurting over a loss that is so easily preventable, and it’s getting worse,” said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety Director.

“Motorists choosing not to wear seat belts need to think beyond themselves, take responsibility and buckle up. As their excuses add up – I forgot to wear it; it’s only a short drive to the store; it’s my decision to make – unbelted fatalities are adding up at a tragic rate we haven’t seen in years.”

In 2020, 79 percent of the unbelted deaths occurred in Greater Minnesota – outside the seven-county metro area.​