October is Occupant Restraint Safety month and the RCMP will be partnering with other local organizations to ensure that the general public is complying with all Occupant Restraint laws.
According to the Alberta Motor Association “the use of a seat belt is perhaps the most effective way of reducing injury severity and likelihood of fatalities among vehicle occupants involved in a crash. In a large number of fatal crashes in Alberta, the victims were not wearing seat belts. Canadian statistics show that 40 per cent of those killed and 20 per cent of those injured on Canada’s roads do not use seat belts.”
When a vehicle stops suddenly in a crash, any unrestrained articles or people continue traveling at the same speed until they hit the dashboard, windshield or another object inside the vehicle. Seat belts prevent death and serious injuries to occupants of light duty motor vehicles in potentially fatal collisions 39 to 60 per cent of the time. This varies depending on the type and size of vehicle and where the person is seated.
Seat belts are designed to fit adults, not children! The proper use of a child seat has been shown to reduce the likelihood of a child being injured or killed in a crash by as much as 75 per cent.
According to the law in Alberta, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the passengers under 16 years of age are buckled up correctly. For children under 40 lbs (18 kg) or under 6 years of age, the law states the following:
- An appropriate child seat must be used.
- The child safety seat must be correctly installed in the vehicle.
- The child must be properly secured into the seat.
Key resources include:
- The instructions that came with their child safety or booster seat.
- The instructions contained in their vehicle owners manual.
- A series of Child Safety Seat YES Tests – rear-facing, forward facing or booster seat-that are self-check tools for choosing, installing and using a child safety seat or booster seat.
Infants and children rely on their parents and caregivers to make every ride a safe ride. Using the available resources, parents and caregivers can make sure they have the right seat and are using it correctly every time.
RCMP request that all drivers take responsibility for not only their safety but for the safety of everyone who are using our Highways.