A survey by emergency room nurses ranks Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota at or near the bottom in roadway safety laws.
The survey by the Emergency Room Nurses Association says Minnesota's low score is because the state still doesn't have primary seat belt use enforcement and a mandatory helmet law for motorcyclists.
Spokeswoman Joanie Somes, an emergency room nurse for 30 years at St. Joseph's hospital in St. Paul, says Minnesota also lacks key child passenger safety regulations and a requirement for ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving.
"Maybe we just think that we're macho Minnesotans and we don't need to have laws that take care of us. But we need to do injury prevention, and if it takes putting a scorecard out there that says we're not doing such a good job -- we don't have enough laws in place to protect ourselves -- that's what we're going to do. And we're going to use that information to share with our legislators and share with our public and say we can do better," Somes said.
The Association says Minnesota crash statistics show 186 state residents killed in 2,007 crashes were not wearing seat belts.