Seat belt-related road deaths lowest in 20 years but one life lost is one too many

Apr 11, 2017

OPP to Conduct Seat Belt Campaign over Easter Long Weekend

ORILLIA, ON, April 11, 2017 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (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 (see data below).

The OPP attributes the downward trend, in part, to its Provincial Traffic Safety Program (PTSP). The PTSP 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 the PTSP, unbuckled vehicle occupants continue to lose their lives, keeping seat belt education and enforcement a traffic safety priority for the OPP.

QUOTES

"The evidence that supports the effectiveness of seat belt use remains irrefutable. 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." - OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety & Operational Support.

"It only takes a moment to buckle up and it can save your life, or the life of your loved one. 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."

-Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Over the Easter Long Weekend, road users can expect to see high police visibility as the OPP carries out its April 14-17, 2017 Seat Belt Campaign.  Officers hope to see all drivers and passengers buckled up as well as children safely restrained.        

SEAT BELT-RELATED FATALTIES (last 20 years, OPP-patrolled roads only)

Year

# Fatalities

Year

# Fatalities

 

2016

45

2006

93

2015

46

2005

110

2014

51

2004

112

2013

67

2003

122

2012

78

2002

114

2011

68

2001

150

2010

88

2000

152

2009

65

1999

150

2008

76

1998

151

2007

109

1997

168

 

QUICK FACTS

  • 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.

  • The OPP Provincial Traffic Safety Program focuses on lack of occupant restraint, distracted, impaired and aggressive driving (known as the Big Four), with the aim of reducing deaths and injuries on OPP-patrolled highways, trails and waterways.    

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information: Contacts by Region: Highway Safety Division: Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, Phone: (416) 460-4701; Central Region: A/Sgt. Mark Kinney, Phone: (705) 330-3738; East Region: A/Sgt. Angie Atkinson, Phone: (613) 285-2750; Northwest Region: Sgt. Shelley Garr, Phone: (807) 473-2734; North East Region: Sgt. Chrystal Jones, Phone: (705) 845-2753; West Region: Sgt. Dave Rektor, Phone: (519) 652-4156