The Alberta government has created free, online training to help parents and caregivers keep children safe in the car.
Child safety restraints are required by law for all children under the age of six who weigh less than 18 kilograms (40 pounds). Depending on a child’s age, size and walking ability, they should be restrained in either a rear- or forward-facing child safety seat.
Child safety seats are ineffective unless used properly. The Alberta government’s child safety seat training helps caregivers and professionals who work with children learn how to properly select, install and use child safety seats.
“Regular seatbelts are designed for adults and cannot properly restrain small children in the event of a collision. Child safety seats take these differences into account and provide the protection our children need and deserve.”
~Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation
“Putting on your seatbelt or using a child safety seat isn’t just the law, it’s also the smart thing to do. Seatbelts improve your chances of surviving a serious or fatal crash by 50 per cent, so make sure you’re protecting yourself and your passengers by buckling up every time.”
~Insp. Steve Daley, acting OIC Traffic Services, Alberta RCMP, K Division
“Vehicle seatbelts and vehicle seats are designed for adult passengers. Children require special protection. Selecting the appropriate child safety seat for the child’s age, weight and height and using it correctly is essential to ensure the best protection during a crash.”
~Beverly Lafortune, vice-president, Training & Community Services, St. John Ambulance Alberta Council
About five per cent of Albertans do not wear seatbelts on a regular basis. That is equivalent to the population of two cities the size of Red Deer not wearing their seatbelts, or more than 200,000 Albertans taking unnecessary risks when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
Occupant restraints facts
- In Alberta, the law requires that all occupants travelling in a motor vehicle use a seatbelt or child safety seat that is properly worn and adjusted.
- The fine for not using a seatbelt or child safety seat is $155.
- Properly used seatbelts can reduce fatal and serious injury by 45-65 per cent depending on the type of vehicle and seating position.
- Without a booster seat, a child is 3 1/2 times more likely to suffer a significant injury.
- Drivers are responsible for ensuring that all passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured using either a child safety seat or seatbelt. Drivers may be fined for each unrestrained passenger under the age of 16.
- Seatbelts distribute the force of a collision evenly to the stronger parts of a person’s body. In a crash, a vehicle travelling 50 kilometres per hour comes to an abrupt stop in 1/100th of a second. At 50 kilometres per hour, an unrestrained person weighing 80 kilograms (176 pounds) will strike whatever they hit first with a force of 2,785 kilograms (6,215 pounds).