If you don’t wear a seat belt while you’re behind the wheel or in the passenger seat the OPP will be on the lookout for you over the next two weeks.
Beginning Wednesday, officers across the province will crack down on improper seat belt use on Ontario’s roadways in their annual campaign.
So far this year, the OPP say 40 people have lost their lives in collisions where they were not wearing seat belts. In the last five years, officers say 347 people have died.
“You can expect to see officers at designated locations doing seat belt checks, checking not only for adults, but making sure that adults have infants and toddlers all buckled as well,” Sgt. Dave Rektor tells AM980 of their two-week campaign. “It’s a mix of that type of enforcement with regular enforcement and education that we hope to make a difference.”
When it comes to which demographic is worst for seat belt use, Rektor says the dubious honour falls to men between the ages of 25 and 34 with that group making up more than three-quarters of those who died when they weren’t buckled up.
“We try to do our best through education and enforcement to try to target this group, but generally speaking young males between the ages of 25 and 34 tend to be risk takers, they’re involved in the more serious incidents that we see,” Rektor says.
“It’s just the continual message-driven enforcement that we need to provide to make sure they voluntarily comply with all the rules of the road.”
So far this year, the OPP says 40 people have lost their lives in collisions where they were not wearing seat belts.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, the fine for failing to buckle up is between $200 and $1,000. Those who receive a ticket can also receive two demerit points, which will stay on your driving record for two years.
Drivers must make sure they and any passengers under 16 years of age are buckled up properly. Adult passengers are responsible for their own seat belt use, but can be fined for failing to buckle up.
The fall seat belt campaign runs until Friday, October 7th.