The deaths of 347 unbuckled vehicle occupants in Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-investigated collisions over the past five years have the OPP calling on drivers and passengers to help them conduct a successful province-wide fall seat belt campaign.
Between 2011 and 2015, the OPP investigated more than 360,000 fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle collisions. In response to these incidents, officers have had to rescue thousands of victims amid the wreckage. As first responders and collision subject matter experts, they know that a road crash – even a low speed crash- is an uncompromising ordeal for vehicle occupants. They also know that not wearing a seat belt is a game changer when it comes to your chances of surviving a crash and reducing the severity of your injuries.
“Every year, our officers tend to crash victims of all ages who are not buckled in at the time of the collision. More often than not, they die as a result of being ejected, partially ejected or from the physical trauma they sustained inside the vehicle. Fortunately, our officers have also witnessed numerous victims survive their ordeal as a result of being restrained in their seat. Every life is worth the five seconds it takes to buckle up.”
– OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
“This campaign serves as an important reminder that every driver and adult passenger has a responsibility to buckle up. Drivers are also responsible for ensuring all passengers under the age of 16 are properly restrained. It’s especially important that small children are in approved seat restraints. Buckling up is the law and saves lives in the event of a collision.”
– David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
So far this year (2016), 40 people have lost their lives in collisions in which they were found not wearing their seat belt.
During the OPP’s ten-day campaign, officers will be conducting enforcement and education that focuses on seat belt laws. They hope to see all drivers and passengers safely buckled in rather than have to issue tickets for seat belt violations.
DID YOU KNOW?
Between 2010 and 2014 (the OPP’s most recent data), 76 per cent of those who died in seat belt-related deaths were males.
Over the same five-year period, males between 25 and 34 years old accounted for the highest number of seat belt-related deaths. Women in the same age group accounted for the highest number of deaths among the female victims.