Strathcona County, Alberta - March is Occupant Restraint Safety month and the Strathcona County RCMP and their road safety partners will be enhancing enforcement efforts to ensure that the general public is complying with all Occupant Restraint laws.
The use of a seat belt is perhaps the most effective way of reducing injury severity and likelihood of fatalities among vehicle occupants involved in a collision. In a large number of fatal crashes in Alberta, the victims were not wearing seat belts. Canadian statistics show that 40 per cent of those killed and 20 per cent of those injured on Canada’s roads do not use seat belts.
Wearing a seat belt improperly renders it ineffective. Seat belts must be worn correctly, using the complete seat belt assembly, which means the lap belt is across the top of the hips and the shoulder belt goes across the chest. Shoulder belts cannot be behind occupant’s backs or underneath arms. When a seat belt is worn correctly, it will apply most of the collision or stopping forces across the chest and pelvis, which are better able to withstand collision forces. 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.
Every person travelling in a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt or use a child safety seat. Drivers are responsible for ensuring that passengers under 16 years of age are using the seat belt or an appropriate child car seat. The driver is responsible for ensuring children who weigh less than 18 kg (40 lbs) are properly restrained in an approved child safety seat that has been correctly installed.
The penalty for seat belt infractions is a fine of $155.