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Q

I live in MN and was fined for not wearing my seat belt. The officer said the fee was $25. I just received a statement from the Violations Bureau saying I owe $108. What should I do? Thanks.


A

You can call the Minnesota Violations Bureau for a breakdown of the cost of the seat belt ticket but from what we have read the amount they cited to you in the notice is correct and thus you would need to pay it to comply and take care of the ticket.

Minnesota Statute 169.686 is the MN law regarding seat belt usage and the penalty for breaking the law and not properly wearing your seat belt if you would like to read through this for information on the reason you were ticketed.

As you are likely aware, on June 9, 2009 Minnesota's primary seat belt law went into effect. This means drivers and passengers in all seating positions, including the back seat, must be buckled up or in the correct child restraint. Law enforcement can now stop motorists solely for seat belt violations, including unbelted passengers. BeforeĀ this was a secondary law and police needed another traffic reason to stop you, such as speeding, in order to find that your seat belt was not on properly. Now law enforcementĀ can pull you over and ticket you just because they see your seat belt is not on properly. Minnesota is the 29th state to pass a primary seat belt law following the recent passage by Arkansas and Florida legislatures.

All unbelted motorists 15 years of age or older will receive a citation by law enforcement if not properly buckled in now in MN. The MN Department of Public Safety (DPS) notes that the total cost for a seat belt citation is about $110.The driver though can also be charged an additional $25 citation fee for each unbelted occupant under the age of 15.If there are a lot of unbuckled young passengers in the car this type of citation could add up to be quite a bit of money for the driver.

From what we have read the base fine for a seat belt infraction in Minnesota is the $25 that the officer stated to you but then there is $10 that goes toward the state's law library and several other miscellaneous fees that drive the cost of the seat belt ticket up over $100, to about $110.

It is our understanding that even with the seat belt law becoming a primary offense that the MN Department of Public Safety will continue to not record a violation of this seat belt law on a person's MN driving record. The DPS explained to us previously that fines collected from violations of this law go into a dedicated account that goes mostly to the emergency medical service districts. These EMS districts are to use the monies received for personnel education and training, equipment and vehicle purchases, and operational expenses of emergency life support transportation service.

Since this violation in Minnesota does not go on your driving record the insurance company would not see it on your MVR so usually would not rate on it and not have it affect your car insurance rates.


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