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152 people cited during seat belt enforcement, motorcycles are next focus

WILLMAR -- A total of 152 people in Kandiyohi and Swift counties were issued citations for not using their seat belt or their child's safety restraint seat during the recent 14-day "Click It or Ticket" mobilization by area law enforcement officers.

Agencies involved in the mobilization include the sheriff's offices in Kandiyohi and Swift counties, and the Willmar, Atwater and Benson police departments. The information was released by the agencies Thursday.

By comparing data from surveys conducted at sites throughout Kandiyohi, Renville, Swift, and Chippewa counties before and after the driver information and enforcement activity, seat belt use by drivers did go up an average of 6 percent, to end up around 88 percent for all roads.

In Safe & Sober enforcement, law officers will now move to focus on the type of vehicle where the "buckle" is on a helmet: motorcycles. This weekend, law enforcement agencies will be especially watchful for violations of traffic laws made by motorcyclists. Extra overtime traffic safety patrols will look for motorcyclists who are impaired by alcohol and other drugs, who are speeding, unlicensed, driving without a headlight, or otherwise driving in ways which increase the danger to themselves.

Officers will also look for the violations by other drivers who increase the danger to motorcyclists: failure to yield when turning left, not stopping fully for traffic controls like "stop" signs and red lights, excessive speed, and inattentive behaviors such as texting while driving.