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MN House Repeals Seatbelt Law

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 5:57 am

The Minnesota House approved a repeal of the law that allows police to stop and ticket a motorist for not wearing a seat belt. Before the primary law took effect two years ago, a ticket could be issued only if the motorist was stopped for another reason. But as it is now, not wearing a seatbelt can actually get you pulled over, which is what the house has repealed.

Of course, the Department of Public Safety is strongly opposed to repeal.

Opponents of the current law believe it is an intrusion of privacy for officers to pull people over just for not wearing their seat belt. The repeal now heads to the Senate.

2 Comments

  1. John 05/22/11 at 1:04pm

    I think everyone needs to read the actual Mn. Statute which clearly states you cannot be stopped for a seat belt violation alone!
    2010 Minnesota Statutes
    Resources
    Topics

    Recent History

    2009 Subd. 1 Amended 2009 c 168 s 6
    2009 Subd. 1 Amended 2009 c 165 s 2
    2009 Subd. 1 Amended 2009 c 82 s 2
    2009 Subd. 1a New 2009 c 165 s 3
    2009 Subd. 2 Amended 2009 c 168 s 7
    2009 Subd. 2 Amended 2009 c 165 s 4
    2003 Subd. 2 Amended 2003 c 92 s 1
    1996 Subd. 3 Amended 1996 c 324 s 4

    169.686 SEAT BELT USE REQUIRED; PENALTY.
    Subdivision 1.Seat belt requirement.

    (a) Except as provided in section 169.685, a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt, including both the shoulder and lap belt when the vehicle is so equipped, shall be worn by the driver and passengers of a passenger vehicle, commercial motor vehicle, type III vehicle, and type III Head Start vehicle.

    (b) A person who is 15 years of age or older and who violates paragraph (a) is subject to a fine of $25. The driver of the vehicle in which a violation occurs is subject to a $25 fine for each violation of paragraph (a) by the driver or by a passenger under the age of 15, but the court may not impose more than one surcharge under section 357.021, subdivision 6, on the driver. The Department of Public Safety shall not record a violation of this subdivision on a person’s driving record.

    [See Note.]
    Subd. 1a.Definitions.

    (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.

    (b) “Passenger vehicle” means:

    (1) a passenger automobile defined in section 168.002, subdivision 24;

    (2) a pickup truck;

    (3) a van;

    (4) a commuter van, as defined in section 168.126; and

    (5) a recreational vehicle, as defined in section 168.002, subdivision 27.

    (c) “Passenger vehicle” does not include a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, bus, school bus, a vehicle designed to operate exclusively on railroad tracks, a farm truck as defined in section 168.002, subdivision 8, or special mobile equipment as defined in section 168.002, subdivision 31.

    (d) “Pickup truck” means a truck, regardless of manufacturer’s nominal rated carrying capacity, that is commonly known as a pickup truck.

    (e) “Van” means a vehicle, regardless of the manufacturer’s nominal rated carrying capacity, of a box-like design that (1) has no barrier or separation between the operator’s area and the remainder of the cargo-carrying area, or (2) is designed to carry 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver.
    Subd. 2.Seat belt exemptions.

    This section shall not apply to:

    (1) a person driving a passenger vehicle in reverse;

    (2) a person riding in a vehicle in which all the seating positions equipped with safety belts are occupied by other persons in safety belts;

    (3) a person who is in possession of a written certificate from a licensed physician verifying that because of medical unfitness or physical disability the person is unable to wear a seat belt;

    (4) a person who is actually engaged in work that requires the person to alight from and reenter a motor vehicle at frequent intervals and who, while engaged in that work, does not drive or travel in that vehicle at a speed exceeding 25 miles per hour;

    (5) a rural mail carrier of the United States Postal Service or a newspaper delivery person while in the performance of duties;

    (6) a person driving or riding in a passenger vehicle manufactured before January 1, 1965; and

    (7) a person driving or riding in a pickup truck while engaged in normal farming work or activity.
    Subd. 3.Appropriation; special account.

    The fines collected for a violation of subdivision 1 must be deposited in the state treasury and credited to a special account to be known as the emergency medical services relief account. Ninety percent of the money in the account shall be distributed to the eight regional emergency medical services systems designated by the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board under section 144E.50, for personnel education and training, equipment and vehicle purchases, and operational expenses of emergency life support transportation services. The board of directors of each emergency medical services region shall establish criteria for funding. Ten percent of the money in the account shall be distributed to the commissioner of public safety for the expenses of traffic safety educational programs conducted by State Patrol troopers.
    History:

    1986 c 310 s 3; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 648 s 1,2; 1989 c 288 s 1; 1991 c 204 s 1,2; 1993 c 26 s 9; 1994 c 600 s 5; 1996 c 324 s 4; 1997 c 199 s 14; 2003 c 92 s 1; 2009 c 82 s 2; 2009 c 165 s 2-4; 2009 c 168 s 6,7,14

    NOTE: Subdivision 1 was also amended by Laws 2009, chapter 82, section 2, to read as follows:
    “Subdivision 1.Seat belt requirement.

    (a) A properly adjusted and fastened seat belt, including both the shoulder and lap belt when the vehicle is so equipped, shall be worn by:

    (1) the driver of a passenger vehicle or commercial motor vehicle;

    (2) a passenger riding in the front seat of a passenger vehicle or commercial motor vehicle; and

    (3) a passenger riding in any seat of a passenger vehicle who (i) is not required to be transported in a child passenger restraint system under section 169.685, subdivision 5, and (ii) is younger than 11 years of age.

    (b) A person who is 15 years of age or older and who violates paragraph (a), clause (1) or (2), is subject to a fine of $25. The driver of the passenger vehicle or commercial motor vehicle in which the violation occurred is subject to a $25 fine for a violation of paragraph (a), clause (2) or (3), by a child of the driver under the age of 15 or any child under the age of 11. A peace officer may not issue a citation for a violation of this section unless the officer lawfully stopped or detained the driver of the motor vehicle for a moving violation other than a violation involving motor vehicle equipment. The Department of Public Safety shall not record a violation of this subdivision on a person’s driving record.”

  2. Dirk 06/13/11 at 3:47pm

    That is correct. The official law of the State of Minnesota states that a police officer may not pull you over or cite you for a mere seat belt violation.

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