North Bay Police to participate in cross-Ontario seatbelt campaign
The North Bay Police Service will be participating in the cross-Ontario seatbelt awareness campaign, which runs from September 24th to October 10th, 2014.
“The primarily focus of this year’s province-wide campaign is on back seat passenger safety and child booster seats,” said Chief Paul Cook, North Bay Police Service. “Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, in a seatbelt or in a child car seat, on our city streets or on our rural roads, everyone must be buckled up.”
Choosing the right car seat for your child
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation provides three online videos, featuring each stage of a child’s development, to assist parents and caregivers to properly install and use their child car seat or booster seat. Visit: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/carseat/choose.shtml
Is my child ready for a seatbelt?
When a child can sit against the back of the vehicle seat with his or her legs bent comfortably over the edge and can sit upright for the entire trip, he or she is probably ready to use a seatbelt.
The law in Ontario allows a child to start using a seatbelt alone once any one of the following criteria is met:
- The child turns eight years old;
- The child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.); and/or
- The child is 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall.
Fines and Penalties
In Ontario, every occupant travelling in a motor vehicle is required to be buckled up properly.
Drivers are responsible for ensuring passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured in a seatbelt, child car seat or booster seat, based on their height, weight and age. Passengers who appear to be at least 16 years of age are required to provide their name, address and date of birth to a police officer upon request.
- Drivers and passengers 16 years of age and older convicted of failing to use or improperly using a seatbelt are subject to a $240 fine.
- Drivers would also have two demerit points applied to their driver record if convicted for failing to use, or improperly using, a seatbelt or failing to ensure a passenger under the age of 16 is properly secured.
No doubling up on the buckle up
Only one person can use a seatbelt at one time. There must be a seatbelt or child car seat for each person in the vehicle. Never carry more people in the vehicle than there are seatbelts. It is illegal for two people to be buckled up using the same seatbelt.
According to Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation:
- Every 11 hours someone in Ontario is killed or injured in a motor vehicle collision who wasn’t wearing their seatbelt.
- Occupants in motor vehicle collisions are on average, about 30 times more likely to be killed if they are not wearing their seatbelt.
- In Canada, motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of injury-related deaths for children twelve years and under. Most of these deaths could have been prevented if the child had been secured properly. For example, a Canadian National Survey on child restraint use found that 91% of the sample population used some form of child restraint system in a moving vehicle; however, the lowest rates of correct use of a child safety seat was identified for children ages four to eight. Only 40% of these children were properly secured in a booster or child car seat. Furthermore, in Ontario, it was found that 64% of children in this age group were using seatbelts and only 25% of these children were properly secured in a booster or child car seat.