Skip to Content

Support MinnPost

Minnesota Court of Appeals rejects seat belt law challenge

A man who was ticketed in 2010 for failing to wear his seat belt has lost another round in his effort to have the case thrown out when the state Court of Appeals (PDF) denied his appeal this week.

Until 2009, police couldn't stop motorists just because they weren't wearing a seat belt; if they stopped a car for another valid reason, then they could issue a seat belt ticket.

But the Legislature changed that to make violation of the mandatory seat belt law a reason, in itself, for stopping a motorist.

But Wade Wendorf challenged his 2010 seat belt ticket in court, claiming, according to the court opinion:

"that the seat-belt law in effect at the time he was stopped prohibited law enforcement from stopping a motorist solely for a seat-belt violation.  Second, he claimed that the seat-belt law, as published by the Revisor of Statutes, failed to provide notice to the public whether violation of the seat-belt law is an offense for which motorists may be cited absent another moving violation."

The judge in Anoka County didn't buy it. Neither did the Court of Appeals, which said in its opinion:

"Because  appellant’s failure to wear a seat belt provided a sufficient basis for a citation and the version of section 169.686, subdivision 1, published by the revisor does not violate appellant’s due-process rights, we affirm his conviction."

Get MinnPost's top stories in your inbox

Related Tags:

About the Author: