(DUFFERIN COUNTY, ON) –All Ontario motor vehicle drivers and passengers must wear a seatbelt that is:
- properly adjusted
- securely fastened
Drivers are also responsible for ensuring any children who are not big enough or old enough to use a seatbelt are secured in an appropriate child car seat or booster seat.
If you wear a seatbelt properly, you are more likely to survive a crash. Evidence shows that Ontario's seatbelt law works and has helped strengthen our leading road safety record.
If you are driving, you can face a fine if you or anyone in your vehicle under age 16 is not wearing a seatbelt or secured in a proper child seat. If you are convicted, you will:
- be fined between $200 and $1,000
- receive two demerit points - demerit points remain on your driving record for two years
You can also be fined for having a broken seatbelt, even if it is not being used when you're stopped by a police officer.
- wear your seatbelt so that it crosses your chest and your lower hips - these areas of the body are better able to resist the force of a crash
- make sure you have one working seatbelt for every person in your vehicle
If you're pregnant, you still need to wear a seatbelt. You should:
- wear both the lap and shoulder belt
- sit as upright as possible
- wear the lap belt low so it pulls downward on your pelvic bones and not across your stomach
- wear any part of your seatbelt twisted - a twisted seatbelt won't spread the force of a crash across your body to protect you properly
- put the shoulder strap under your arm or behind your back
Air bags do not take the place of a seatbelt. They won't prevent you or your passengers from being thrown out of your car, and they can also injure children.
Passengers over age 16
Passengers who are 16 years of age or older are responsible for buckling up themselves. If you appear to be at least 16 years of age, police officers can ask you for your name address and date of birth. You will face a fine if you are not using or wearing a seatbelt properly.
Seatbelts in taxis
You must wear a seatbelt whenever you travel in a taxi. Taxi drivers must make sure that their cars have seatbelts in good working order.
The law does not require the taxi driver to provide a child car seat. When travelling in a taxi with a child, you should provide your own child car seat or booster seat.
Passengers under age 16
While they're not required to sit in the back seat, research has shown that children under age 13 are safest in the back seat of motor vehicles away from active airbags.
Exception: Where a back seat is unavailable, or if the back seat is a sideways facing seat, such as in a light-duty truck, children can sit in the front seat only if:
- there is no active airbag for the front seat
- the front air bag can be switched off*
*If there is no switch to turn the air bag on/off, visit Transport Canada for more information on their deactivation program.
You can get information on child passenger safety from your local public health unit.
No seatbelts needed
Seatbelts are not required in the following vehicles:
- buses (including school buses)
- other large commercial vehicles (over 4,536 kg) that don't require seatbelts to be installed in rear seating positions at the time of manufacture
- vehicles that were manufactured in or imported into Canada before January 1, 1974
- vehicles manufactured without seatbelt assemblies for each seating position
Seatbelts are not required for the following passengers:
- people with medical certificates stating they are unable to wear a seatbelt
- people engaged in work that requires them to exit from and re-enter the vehicle at frequent intervals (must travel less than 40 km/h)
- a person in police custody while being transported, as well as police or peace officers while transporting a person in custody
- employees and agents of Canada Post delivering rural mail
- ambulance attendants and those being transported in the patient's compartment of an ambulance
- firefighters in the rear of a fire department vehicle while responding to an emergency
- taxi cab drivers while transporting a passenger for hire (when travelling alone in the vehicle, taxi cab drivers must wear a seatbelt)
- anyone legally driving a motor vehicle in reverse