In 2017, the DOT reports there were over fifteen thousand crashes in North Dakota and 116 of those resulted in death.
Law enforcement reminds us that seat belts can save you – but by law – wearing your seat belt isn’t always required.
“The first thing I do is put my seat belt on,” said Shane Laverduree, Lyft Driver.
In North Dakota, the law states that if you are under the age of 18 years old you must wear your seatbelt wherever you sit in the car. If a child is not wearing their seatbelt, law enforcement can pull you over and give you a ticket. Those who are 18 years and older are required to wear a seat belt in the front seat.
“Anyone over the age of 18, it’s a secondary enforcement so we have to stop you for speeding or something and then write the seat belt ticket,” said Scott Guenthner, Highway Patrol Trooper.
If you are 18 years or older, there’s no law that requires you to wear a seatbelt in the back seat but for your own safety the highway patrol recommends that you do.
“We shouldn’t have to mandate you being safe,” said Guenthner.
For Lyft Driver, Shane Laverduree, he says that 80% of the time his passengers will put on their seat belt, but the other 20% he says he has to ask them do it.
“When I ask they look at me like ‘for real?’ and I’m like yes you know it’s for our safety and yours. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t,” said Laverduree.
Trooper Guenthner says that even though it’s not required for adults to buckle up in the back seat – if you crash and don’t have your seat belt on it could be life threatening.
“Their chances of being hurt or killed are drastically reduced,” said Guenthner.
“It could save your life if you take the extra 5 seconds to buckle up,” said Laverduree.
Guenthner says that with your seatbelt on you’re risk of being injured or killed is reduced by 40%.