"We are proud to see Ontarians come such a long way with seat belt safety over the past ten years. In spite of the steady progress, we need all road users to start recognizing the significant role a seat belt plays in increasing one's chances of surviving a road crash and reducing the severity of injuries," said Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox, Provincial Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division.
Over the Easter Long Weekend the OPP will conduct province-wide, education and targeted enforcement of seat belt laws to address those few road users who need to be nudged to buckle up. The OPP would prefer to see drivers do this through their own initiative rather than police enforcement.
Over the past ten years (2005 to 2014), 856 people have died in road crashes in which not wearing a seat belt was a causal factor in their deaths. More than two thirds of the deceased were males (646) and 210 were females. The majority of those who died were drivers (611) and 245 were passengers.
The human collision
The OPP is issuing an important reminder to passengers, in particular those who sit in the back seat. When a collision occurs with unbuckled passengers in the backseat, this can set a deadly stage for person-to-person impact. People in the front seat are often struck by unbelted backseat passengers who become high-speed projectiles inside the vehicle, sometimes contributing to the death of those who were wearing a seat belt and might have otherwise survived.
It takes more than seat belts to keep your family safe on the road
The OPP is also reminding motorists that the Easter weekend often makes for the first long weekend road trip of the year on dry roads in many parts of the province. While this is a welcome respite after a long winter, drivers should not let their guard down about other behaviours they need to demonstrate behind the wheel to ensure everyone travels safely this coming weekend.
Over and above seat belt compliance, the OPP is counting on motorists to drive within posted speed limits, not allow themselves to be distracted while driving and to not drive if consuming alcohol or drugs.
Click on the following video link to see how a seat belt saved a young woman’s life.