Buckle up for seat belt month

Make sure to strap yourself in or the next trip you take might be in an ambulance. The RCMP are starting their month of enforcement on seat belts and other occupant restraint devices.

  • Aug. 30, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Make sure to strap yourself in or the next trip you take might be in an ambulance.

The RCMP are starting their month of enforcement on seat belts and other occupant restraint devices.

From Sept. 1 to 30, they are conducting the occupant restraint campaign.

The North West District Traffic Services — which includes Prince Rupert, Terrace and Smithers’ detachments — will be working to conduct enforcement and provide education, checking for proper use of seat belts and child seats.

Cst. Chris Mosley with the Smithers detachment said that for the most part people are smart when it comes to strapping themselves in but they’ll be keeping a close eye on the small percentage who aren’t.

“People are pretty good but at the same time it isn’t hard to find infractions,” he said, noting that within Smithers is the highest non-use of seatbelts in the jurisdiction. “It is a visible issue.”

It’s not hard to see where seat belts could have saved lives. While not saying it was the only factor, a recent fatal accident near Houston, where a man was ejected from his Tracker before the vehicle landed on him, had the potential to not have such a tragic ending with the proper use of a seat belt.

The wear rates aren’t atrocious, he said, but it only takes one.

Among the things police will be looking for is making sure people wear their seat belts across their shoulders and not under the armpits.

The excuses Mosley has heard are many. The most common one is that people say that are just driving a short distance. For instance from one end of Main Street to the other.

And there are also people who say that they just left somewhere.

“I just filled up with gas, I just pulled onto the highway,” he said were some of the excuses.

What people should realize though is that those short distances can actually be some of the most dangerous.

There’s nothing to say you won’t get T-boned at an intersection on Main Street, he said.

Failure to wear a seat belt, not wearing one correctly, or permitting a passenger under 16-years-old to not wear one are all offences that carry a fine of $167.

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