U study: seat belt law saves lives

by Jeff Hargarten


A University of Minnesota study reveals the state’s seat belt law has saved lives since its 2009 passage, The Pioneer Press reported.

The study, produced by the University’s Center for Excellence in Rural Safety, found 68 fewer deaths and 320 fewer injuries between 2009 and 2011. It also reported about $45 million in medical cost savings during the same period.

About 32 states have seat belt laws. Prior to 2009, not wearing a seat belt was a secondary offense in Minnesota and only earned a ticket if a police officer pulled over a driver for a different violation.

The study found seat belt use increased 97 percent in 2008 and 93 percent in 2011, while support for the law jumped to more than 70 percent.