The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding motorists that wearing a seat belt while in a motor vehicle is the law and officers intend to actively enforce that law during the Fall Seat Belt Campaign. The Fall Seat Belt Campaign begins on September 23, 2015 and it will continue until midnight on October 9, 2015.
So far this year 42 people have been killed on OPP-patrolled roads who were not wearing a seat belt in comparison to 34 people last year for the same time period. The most recent OPP statistics are even more alarming; during the week of September 7 – 13, 2015, seven people were killed in motor vehicle collisions in Ontario – six of those people were not wearing a seat belt.
“Adult seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in motor vehicle collisions. Yet thousands of adults still do not wear their seat belts on every trip. Not wearing a seat belt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys and at low speeds. We know that enforcement of seat belt laws does make a difference in getting more people to buckle up, so OPP officers will be diligent during this campaign,” says OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Traffic Safety and Operational Support
A driver can be charged and face a fine totalling $240 and two demerit points for seat belt infractions. During the 2014 Fall Seat Belt Campaign OPP officers issued 74 tickets to drivers and passengers who were not wearing their seatbelt or were wearing it improperly.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, any person travelling in a motor vehicle who is at least 16 years of age must occupy a seat with a seatbelt. Parents are reminded that passengers under 16 years of age must be properly buckled up in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight. The Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) website has comprehensive information about properly restraining your child, including proper car seat installation. This information can be found on their ‘Road Safety’ page at www.mto.gov.on.ca.