Throughout the month of July, Powell River RCMP is cracking down on drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts while travelling in vehicles.
“A seat belt is the most important item in a vehicle when it comes to occupant safety,” said Constable Chris Bakker. “It only takes a second or two to put on, and saves hundreds of lives every year on the roads of Canada.”
In British Columbia, between 2001 and 2005, approximately 2,440 people were injured and 135 were killed each year in collisions where no seat belt was worn.
Research has found that the Canadian average for people who wear their seat belts all the time is about 92 per cent. The average for British Columbia is approximately 83 per cent. This number has been shown to decrease significantly in rural locations and in certain populations, such as males under the age of 25.
The ticket for failing to wear a seat belt, operating a vehicle with inoperative seat belts or permitting a passenger aged nine to 15 to travel without a seat belt is $167, but the cost could be much higher if that vehicle is involved in an accident.
By enforcing seat belt laws, the RCMP hopes to improve public safety and prevent any unnecessary injuries or deaths that could result from vehicle collisions. “If everyone on the road always wore their seat belts we wouldn’t have to do enforcement. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. We are still seeing people being injured or killed because they don’t have them on,” said Bakker. “Seat belts save lives. Buckle up every time.”