By Cpl. Mike Bacque
RCMP South West Regional Traffic Services
Seatbelt use has been documented to reduce the risk of serious injury and death. Transport Canada reports that while 93 per cent of Canadians buckle up, the seven per cent who don’t account for almost 40 per cent of fatalities in vehicle collisions. Seatbelts save about 1,000 lives a year in Canada. More lives could be saved if everyone buckled up for every trip.
Seatbelt use requires the active participation of the driver or passenger, and it is a habit that needs to be formed early and reinforced often. This is especially important for teens since they tend to be involved in collisions more often than more experienced drivers. In addition, it is important to know that in the event of a crash, unbuckled drivers and passengers can become projectiles and injure other vehicle occupants. The message is simple: when in a passenger vehicle, buckle up! (Source: Canada Safety Council)
In Saskatchewan, it’s a driver’s responsible to ensure that any passenger under the age of 16 is wearing their seatbelt. Failure to do so may result in a ticket of $175, the same fine amount for a driver or passenger who fails to wear at seatbelt.
Seatbelts also have to be worn properly adjusted and securely fastened. The wearing of the torso restraint portion behind one’s back or under an arm is deemed to not be worn in a properly adjusted and securely fastened. (Source: Traffic Safety Act of Saskatchewan)
For children under 36 kilograms (80 lbs), use of a booster seat is required. For toddlers between nine and 30 kilograms (20 and 66 lbs), use of a forward facing car seat is required. For infants less than nine kilograms (20 lbs) a rear-facing car seat is required. Proper installation of car seats is of utmost importance and can be verified by a car seat technician at clinics held in many communities. (Source: SGI)
Embrace Life – Always Wear Your Seatbelt