The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) report that there were 29 seat-belt related road deaths on OPP-patrolled roads so far this year, as they prepared to conduct their province-wide Fall Seat Belt Campaign from September 27 to October 6.
Wearing a seat belt is crucial to surviving a crash, and even one unbuckled vehicle occupant can increase the risk of death and serious injury to other people in the vehicle.
In the event of a frontal collision, an unbuckled back seat passenger becomes a human projectile, placing additional risks on those in the front seat.
“When you are on the road, don't let anyone in the vehicle - including those in the back seat - convince you that buckling up is a personal choice. As a driver or front seat passenger, even if you are wearing a seat-belt when you crash, you can be struck from behind by unbuckled passengers, making them a significant factor in whether you live or die, said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
“Buckling up saves lives in the event of a collision. Every driver and adult passenger is responsible for wearing a seat-belt. It is also the driver's responsibility to ensure that all passengers 16 years of age or younger are properly buckled in. It is a small step that saves lives,” said Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
DID YOU KNOW?
If you are driving, you can face a fine if you or anyone in your vehicle under the age of 16 is not wearing a seat belt or secured in a proper child car seat. If you are convicted, you will:
be fined between $200 and $1,000
receive two demerit points - demerit points remain on your driving record for two years
Passengers over the age of 16 are responsible for buckling themselves up.