April 12, 2017 · 0 Comments
OPP are reporting a 20-year low and a steady decrease in seat belt-related deaths as they get set to conduct their Seat Belt Campaign over the Easter long weekend.
A total of 45 seat belt-related road fatalities occurred on OPP-patrolled roads in 2016, marking the lowest number on record in the last 20 years. Also notable over the 20-year period is the number dipping below the 50 mark for the first time in 2015 and 2016.
OPP attributes the downward trend, in part, to its Provincial Traffic Safety Program (PTSP), which is a proactive, high-visibility approach to traffic safety enforcement and education that focuses on lack of seat belt use and other high-risk behaviours that account for the majority of OPP-investigated deaths on roads, waterways and trails.
Since its implementation in 2007, PTSP has contributed to significantly fewer traffic fatalities overall. While seat belt-related fatalities have proportionately decreased through the success of PTSP, unbuckled vehicle occupants continue to lose their lives, keeping seat belt education and enforcement a traffic safety priority for OPP.
“The evidence that supports the effectiveness of seat belt use remains irrefutable,” OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair commented. “The odds of surviving or avoiding serious injuries in a collision are stacked against those who are not restrained in their seat. In exchange for the few seconds it takes to buckle up, you can cross this risk off the checklist of things that threaten your life on the road.”
“It only takes a moment to buckle up and it can save your life, or the life of your loved one,” Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Marie-France Lalonde observed. “I commend the OPP for undertaking Seat Belt Campaigns. They are an important reminder that helps keep our roads safe. Please help prevent unnecessary tragedy by making sure everyone in a vehicle with you is safely buckled.”
Drivers are responsible for ensuring children who are not big or old enough to use a seat belt are secured in an appropriate child car seat or booster seat.