Do You Have To Wear a Seat Belt in the Back Seat in Minnesota?
A new national survey is urging states to make it illegal to not wear a seat belt while riding in the back seat. But is it already illegal here in Minnesota?
A new report released earlier this week from the Governor's Highway Safety Association (now THAT sounds like an exciting group, doesn't it?) is trying to spotlight this issue of seat belt use by passengers riding in the rear seats of cars, trucks and SUV's.
Their report says rear-seat passengers are three times more likely to die in a crash if they're not wearing a seat belt. It also noted that, in 2013, 883 rear-seat passengers not wearing a seat belt died in crashes-- and that more than 400 of them would have survived had they buckled up.
Here in Minnesota, not wearing a seat belt while driving a vehicle or riding in the front seat is already a primary offense-- meaning, police can pull you over and give you a ticket if they see you not buckled up, and don't need another reason to pull you over first.
But what about back-seat seat belts? Are you required to wear those as well here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes? I remember when I got first my driver's license (a LONG time ago!) back in Wisconsin, seat belt use at that time in America's Dairyland was only required for the front seats.
Well, I'm not in Wisconsin anymore. Because, yes, the GHSA says seat-belt use IS required in both the front AND back-seats here in Minnesota. (And now even in Wisconsin, as it turns out.) The GHSA noted in their release that rear-seat seat belt use is a primary offense both here in Minnesota AND Wisconsin, one of 19 states that have a similar law on the books.
So, yeah, no matter which seat in which you're sitting, buckle those seat belts... it's not just a good idea, it's the law!