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OPP launch long weekend seatbelt campaign


Provincial police have launched their regular long weekend safety campaign – focusing on the importance of buckling up.

An undated photo of Ontario Provincial Police conducting stops during a safety education program. (X/Ontario Provincial Police)

From March 28 to April 1, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be out patrolling area roads ensuring drivers and passengers are wearing a seatbelt.

“Police will be focusing on seatbelt education and enforcement, so buckle up,” said OPP Const. Rob Lewis, in a social media post.

“This long weekend, let’s keep working together towards road safety.”

OPP officials added that officers will also be on the lookout for other road violations – including distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding.

Kyler Brouwer, community safety officer for James Bay, OPP told CTV News thousands of charges are laid annually against individuals who weren't wearing a seatbelt.

"Seatbelt use is still a problem in the province," he said.

In 2023 in Ontario, 10,000 charges were laid for seatbelt infractions and 67 lives were lost where not wearing a seatbelt was the primary factor – with 296 dying from not wearing a seatbelt of the last five years.

"It only takes a few seconds to buckle up your seatbelt and it goes a long way to keep you safe in case of a collision," said Brouwer.

Brouwer also said it is a driver's responsibility to ensure passengers under the age of 16 are wearing a seatbelt.

"That includes child restraints are done up properly and for those passengers 16 and older, everyone must be buckled because there are consequences for being a passenger in the front or rear seat and not using a seatbelt as well," he said.

A driver or passenger over age 16 can be charged and face a fine totalling $240 and two demerit points for not wearing a seatbelt – it may also impact a driver’s auto insurance rates.

“Please buckle up,” said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, in a social media post.

“It is the law, but more importantly, it could save your life.” Top Stories

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