Ontario Spring Seatbelt Campaign Focuses On Children
Wednesday April 15, 2009
Ontario's spring seatbelt campaign began on Wednesday and the focus this year is on children.
Whether it's a booster seat or a baby carrier, youngsters need to be properly buckled in.
Both local and provincial officers will be monitoring the roads and checking your vehicle to see if everyone is safely secured.
"The reality is, what we are going to see is drivers and passengers alike not wearing their seatbelts and worse yet, we're going to see children that are not properly restrained," outlined Sgt. Tim Burrows of Toronto Police.
Burrows went on to explain how children of different ages and weights should be secured.
"When you're dealing with an infant under 20 pounds, they need to be in a rear-facing infant seat. After the 20-pound mark, they can go to a forward-facing seat and stay there until they're about 40 pounds.
"Between the 40 and 80 pound mark, until the age of eight, they need to be in a booster seat."
At a clinic, Burrows demonstrated how necessary it is to have a well-fitted car seat.
"It's vitally important. It's a child's best protection in the case of a collision...when children are buckled in, injuries are minimized and deaths are reduced."
"The biggest mistake people make is that they're not doing it tight enough. Not tight enough to the car and not tight enough to the child herself," he added.
In 2008, a quarter of the people killed in highway crashes were not wearing their seatbelts, according to the OPP. Province-wide, 78 of those who died in collisions hadn't buckled up.
"What I expect to see is that we have 100 per cent compliance with our seat belt laws in the province," Burrows hoped.
"Thy save lives; it's been proven. They're there for a purpose and we need everybody to use them."
The fine is $110 and you could also receive two demerit points. The campaign will run until April 26.
Canada Safety Council on car seats.
Some of the offences police officers will be looking for are:
Driver with seat belt removed/inoperative/modified
Driver -- fail to properly wear seat belt
Drive while passenger under 16 fails to occupy position with seat belt
Passenger -- fail to properly wear seat belt
Drive while passenger under 16 fails to properly wear seat belt
Fail to ensure infant properly secured
Fail to ensure toddler properly secured
Fail to ensure child properly secured