Alberta RCMP are reminding about seatbelt safety this month. They point out that the proper use of safety restraints significantly reduces the risk of serious injury and harm in the event of a motor vehicle collision and saves lives.
For last year, they report that 5,279 motorists were pulled over for seatbelt-related offences in Alberta. RCMP say 5,123 adults and 156 children were improperly restrained in a vehicle.
Inspector Chris Romanchych, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services is reminding just how important it is to wear seatbelts.
“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.”
RCMP caution 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. Children in the vehicle aged 6 to 16 (or younger than 6 who weigh more than 40 pounds) must be wearing a seatbelt. Children who weigh less than 40 pounds must be secured in a properly installed child restraint.
- The fine for seatbelt infractions in Alberta is $162.
Drivers and passengers must wear an occupant restraint unless under special exemption which requires a letter from your medical doctor. This letter must be renewed annually.