For each person reading this, how many of you are chuckling in the back of your head at the question thinking “pfffff… who needs it?" or “I do but…all of the time? Honestly?”. Some of you may say “all the time" and mean it. Really mean it. Every time. Because you know the risk. You may even know that just last year, forty nine people tragically died in Ontario alone after being involved in motor vehicle collisions in which they were not safely buckled. Now I know what you're thinking, that's not the highest number you've ever seen. And you're right, we have come a long way with driver education. But isn't one too high? In the last ten years, that number swells up to a whopping six hundred and thirty nine on OPP-patrolled roads. Six hundred and thirty nine people with friends, family, classes, and careers. All because that belt wasn’t buckled properly. If the risk of serious injury or death is not compelling enough, consider some of the other consequences of not buckling up. You may not always buckle in or perhaps sometimes not buckle in, and you may have gotten away with it, no harm no foul right? You may even think that way. Until that day comes where you're pulled over for one thing, spotted without that belt buckled and “Tell them what they've won!”If driving in Ontario, you can face a fine if you or anyone in your vehicle under the age of sixteen is not wearing a seat-belt or secured in a proper child seat. If convicted, you could be fined anywhere between two hundred and one thousand dollars. If the beating on your wallet isn't enough, you'll also take home two brand new demerit points. Those points will remain on your record for two whole years (hopefully you aren't looking for a job where the focus is driving, they kind of check for that sort of thing), and could add up to a suspension of your licence where it can be a nightmare just waiting and paying your hard earned cash to get it back. That’s right! Another round out of the wallet! It is also possible to be fined for having a broken seat-belt if stopped by an officer. So make sure if operating a motor vehicle, that they all work.
The only vehicles in Ontario that do not require a seat-belt are:
- buses (including school buses)
- other large commercial vehicles (over 4,536 kg) that don't require seatbelts to be installed in rear seating positions at the time of manufacture
- vehicles that were manufactured in or imported into Canada before January 1, 1974
- vehicles manufactured without seat-belt assemblies for each seating position
Seat-belts are not required for the following passengers in Ontario:
- people with medical certificates stating they are unable to wear a seat-belt
- people engaged in work that requires them to exit from and re-enter the vehicle at frequent intervals (must travel less than 40 km/h)
- a person in police custody while being transported, as well as police or peace officers while transporting a person in custody
- employees and agents of Canada Post delivering rural mail
- ambulance attendants and those being transported in the patient's compartment of an ambulance
- firefighters in the rear of a fire department vehicle while responding to an emergency
- taxi cab drivers while transporting a passenger for hire (when travelling alone in the vehicle, taxi cab drivers must wear a seat-belt)
- anyone legally driving a motor vehicle in reverse
Bottom line is, if neither you nor your vehicle fit one of the instances above, you need to have a seat-belt and you need to wear it. If you are in a vehicle with others that are not wearing their seat-belt, speak up and encourage them to buckle up. Your encouragement and advice may save their life.
If you've been injured in a car accident, we can help you. But you need to do your part. Buckle up and reduce the risk of an accident being fatal by up to 50%. Please contact us for a Free Consultation.