OPP starts annual spring seatbelt safety blitz on local roads

Ontario Provincial Police press release

ORILLIA –– The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be increasing enforcement throughout the province to ensure that motorists everywhere do their part in saving lives by buckling up.

The increased enforcement is part of the Spring Seatbelt Campaign which is a partnership between the OPP, Ontario Ministry of Transportation and other road safety partners. The campaign runs from April 14 to 24, 2010.

In OPP jurisdictions this year (2010), eleven people have lost their lives as a result of not wearing their restraints at the time of the crash and many more were seriously injured. In 2009, a total of 310 people died in motor vehicle collisions on highways patrolled by the OPP and in 68 of those deaths (26 percent) seatbelt non-compliance was a factor.

The OPP will be focusing their efforts on child restraints during the campaign to raise awareness and protect children. A properly used child booster seat reduces a child’s risk of injury in a crash by as much as 75 percent, yet OPP officers find many child car seats are incorrectly used or incorrectly 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.

“Children are our future and they deserve every protection we can give them. Please ensure that any child is properly secured while travelling in your vehicle. Their lives depend on it,” said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino.

QUICK FACTS

* Seatbelt non-compliance draws a fine of $235 and two demerit points.

* In 2009, 310 people lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions on OPP patrolled roads and in 68 of those deaths (26 percent) seatbelt non-compliance was a factor. Seatbelts

* In 2009, the OPP checked 1,072,003 vehicles during the Spring Seatbelt Campaign and laid a total of 10,592 charges

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