Stillwater Man: Getting a Seatbelt Ticket Saved My Life

Updated: 08/21/2013 7:37 AM By: Todd Wilson

A Stillwater man tells KSTP getting a seatbelt ticket ended up saving his life.

Andrew King saw flashing lights in his rearview mirror in March. He was pulled over and cited because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. "I was so mad 'cause I was driving slow and I was just trying to get home," King said. 

Now fast forward to this month, where King says he got into a serious car accident but was wearing his seatbelt this time.

"A woman failed to yield... so I hit her at about 55 mph," King said.

King says the ticket Stillwater Police Sergeant Jeff Magler gave him saved his life. He even called him.

"I can't tell you what this means for my family for what looked like a bad day in March when I got that ticket, it turned out to be lifesaving," King said to Magler.

King's daughter is also thankful for Magler. "Actually he stopped by earlier today and I shook his hand," she said.

Magler says in all his 28 years on the job, no one has ever called to thank him for a ticket.

"It's very rare you receive any kind of positive input for a police ticket that's issued," Magler said. 

Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 12 of this year, Stillwater Police have issued 24 seatbelt violations.

Last year, 116 people died who were not wearing seatbelts in crashes, according to the State Department of Public Safety. In the last three years, 361 people have died.

King says he's learned his lesson.

"You never know, you could be following the traffic laws, doing the right thing and someone else could ruin your day," King said. "It could be worse."