Seatbelt safety is this month’s Alberta RCMP education focus

by Stephen Dafoe

Although not the only thing RCMP will task themselves this month, seatbelt safety is on their list. Each month, the Alberta Traffic Safety Calendar has a different educational component and March’s target is seatbelts.

The use of seatbelts has been mandatory in Alberta for the past 25 years, having become law in June of 1987; however, statistics show many seat-belt offences remain.

“In 2021, 5,279 motorists were pulled over for seatbelt-related offences in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction; 5,123 adults and 156 children were improperly restrained in a vehicle,” said Alberta RCMP Traffic Services Inspector Chris Romanchych. “We want Albertans to understand that the small practice of buckling up makes a big difference. Your seatbelt is the only thing keeping you safely restrained in a vehicle’s engineered occupant life space during impact. Unfortunately, there have been far too many collisions in Alberta in which the simple act of wearing a seatbelt could have prevented fatalities.”

Alberta RCMP asks both motorists and passengers to keep in mind the following when buckling up:

• Seatbelts should be worn at all times by vehicle occupants and securely fastened before putting your vehicle into motion.

• Ensure the lap belt is positioned low across your hips and the shoulder belt is always sitting across the centre of your chest.

• Do not allow the seatbelt to become twisted. The width of the belt is required to spread the force from a collision across the body (Alberta Transportation, 2017).

• Always use the seatbelts provided on off-road or recreational vehicles.

• Motorists are responsible for ensuring both themselves and passengers under the age of 16-years-old are using proper occupant restraints. The fine for seatbelt infractions in Alberta is $162.

Alberta RCMP regularly offers traffic tips on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.

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