Buckle up or pay the consequences

Above: A mannequin is tossed out the window of a rolling vehicle in this Morinville News file photo.

by Morinville News Staff

Motorists who like to drive around town unencumbered by seat belts would be wise to buckle up, particularly this month.

March has been designated Occupant Restrain Month under the Alberta Traffic Safety Plan. Each month RCMP, Sheriffs, and their enforcement partners target a different aspect of traffic safety to educate the public.

Local RCMP members and other law enforcement members will be ramping up their efforts to encourage greater use of seatbelts and child car seats this month.

Police say a significant portion of traffic injuries and fatalities result from vehicle collisions where people are ejected from the vehicle. Although the police have seen an increase in the number of motorists and passengers buckling up in the past few years, there is still room for improvement.

They cite Canadian statistics that show 40 per cent of those killed and 20 per cent of those injured on Canada’s roads do not use seat belts.

Under the law, drivers are responsible to make sure passengers under 16 years of age are buckled up correctly.

Children under 40 lbs (18 kg) or under the age of six are required to be properly secured in an appropriate child seat correctly installed in the vehicle.

The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $115, and drivers are personally responsible for the proper restraint of children under 16 travelling in their vehicle. Passengers are not exempt from receiving fines if they are not buckled up.

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