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 June and data were collected in eleven counties.
The regional seat belt surveys are unrelated to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) annual statewide survey results announced recently and cannot be compared to the statewide results.
Statewide belt use is a record high 93.6 percent, according to DPS. The statewide survey provides a comprehensive gauge of belt use by measuring counties where 85 percent of the state’s road deaths occurred on average during the past three years, while the regional surveys have a smaller sample size and aim to provide an additional snapshot of belt use to measure local progress.
Regional Seat Belt Use Rates
§ 85.1 percent (first time regional belt use survey)
§ Counties observed —
, Cass, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec,
Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Wright. Benton
§ 80.5 percent, slightly up from 80.3 percent in 2011.
§ Counties observed (April 2012) — Aitkin,
, Cook, Carlton Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, St. Louis.
§ 73.9 percent, up from 65.8 percent in 2011.
§ Counties observed (June 2012) —Beltrami,
, Hubbard, Kittson, Clearwater Lake of the Woods, , Marshall , Pennington, Polk, Norman , and Red Lake . Roseau
§ 86.7 percent, up from 84.7 percent in 2011.
§ Counties observed — Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue,
, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele,
Wabasha, Winona. Houston
§ 84.7 percent, up from 73.2 percent in 2011.
§ Blue Earth, Brown,
Cottonwood, , Faribault , Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Nobles,
Rock, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan. Jackson
§ 82.5 percent, up from 81.1 percent in 2011.
§ Big Stone, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine.
§ 77.3 percent (first-time regional belt use survey)
§ Counties observed — Becker, Clay,
Douglas, Grant, Mahnomen, Otter Tail, Pope,
Stevens, Traverse, Wilkin.
Charting Minnesota Seat Belt Use Rates and Unbelted Deaths
As statewide seat belt use has increased, unbelted deaths have dropped, according to DPS:
§ 1986 (the year
first passed a seat belt law): Belt compliance was 20 percent; 280 unbelted
§ 2003 (10 years ago): Belt compliance was 79.4 percent; 257 unbelted deaths.
§ 2008 (five years ago): Belt use was 86.7 percent; 150 unbelted deaths.
§ 2011: Belt use was 92.6 percent; 120 unbelted deaths.