Maybe we'll have to put a seat belt on Paul Bunyan to get the point across to some people.
Motorists in Brainerd area stood out as being particularly foolish in a recent survey that showed only 51-54 percent of the drivers and passengers used their seat belts. Remember that the next time a Brainerd resident talks about how reckless the drivers are in the Twin Cities.
With so many other tasks before them it must be frustrating for law officers to have to spend time persuading motorists to exercise common sense and buckle up.
Cass and Crow Wing County law enforcement officials announced last week they'll take part in May Mobilization, a national campaign to crack down on those who don't use seat belts. It's a no-more-Mr.-Nice Guy mode as law officers will dispense with warnings and ticket drivers who aren't buckled.
Common sense, fatality statistics and the possibility of a $75 ticket are apparently not enough to convince a strong majority of Brainerd motorists to buckle up. The percentage of those who buckled up wasn't much better in neighboring communities. Nisswa was at 66 percent and Baxter was at 65 percent. The statewide average was 80 percent in 2003.
Law officers provided one more statistic that should be the real clincher for any person who doesn't use seat belts. In 2002 Cass and Crow Wing counties combined for 23 traffic deaths. None of the victims wore their seat belt.
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