Saturday, 9 April 2011

Ontario Seatbelt Laws Turn 35 Years Old

Give Yourself the Gift of Survival by Buckling Up Every Time

AURORA, Ontario, April 8, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - It's been 35 years since seat belt laws came into effect in Ontario (1976), and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are as committed as ever to seat belt compliance as they get set to launch the 2011 Spring Seatbelt Campaign.

The province-wide campaign will run from April 13 - 23, 2011. During that time, the OPP will be stepping up enforcement throughout the province to ensure that motorists and passengers buckle up.

Using a seat belt is the single most effective way to reduce the chance of injury or death in a motor vehicle collision. Yet tragically, countless fatalities and injuries relating to seat belt use have continued to occur needlessly each year over the past 35 years.

Last year (2010) on OPP patrolled roadways, 89 people lost their lives in collisions in which lack of seatbelt use was a causal factor and 4,200 people were injured for the same reason.

So far this year (2011), 7 people have died in collisions in which lack of seatbelt use was a causal factor and 855 have been seriously injured. Compared to this same time last year, 13 died and 913 were injured.

The OPP will be focusing their efforts on child restraints during this campaign to raise awareness about the need to properly restrain children in a vehicle. A properly used child seat reduces a child's risk of injury in a crash by as much as 75 per cent, yet many child car seats are incorrectly used or improperly installed.

When used correctly, a booster seat provides 60 per cent more protection than a seatbelt alone. In a collision, children using seatbelts instead of booster seats are three and a half times more likely to suffer significant injury, and four times more likely to suffer head injury. OPP detachments regularly run child car-seat safety clinics and the OPP are encouraging everyone to contact their local OPP Detachment or their local police service for more information.

"In 1976 Ontario became the first province to require all drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt. After all these years OPP officers across this province are just as committed to ensuring that occupants buckle up", said OPP Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety & Operational Support.

Make sure you do your part as a driver. Buckle up first and then make sure all your passengers and children are properly secured.


A driver who is not wearing a seatbelt is over 40 times more likely to be killed in a crash than one who is properly buckled.

The annual Spring Seatbelt Campaign is a partnership between the OPP, Ontario Police Services, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and other road safety partners.


For more information about Seat Belt Laws, go to: Ontario Law on Seatbelt Compliance

For more information about proper child restraints, go to: Smart Love

For OPP information on Driver Safety tips go to: OPP.CA/ Driver Safety Tips

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