The Bonnyville area saw multiple seatbelt checks issued in early January to ensure the area is using the safety feature as intended.
Constable Darren Clark says seat belts are there to reduce the likelihood of being seriously injured or killed in a collision. “Seatbelts will help reduce that risk by roughly 50%. Fewer deaths are reported when occupants are wearing seatbelts during a collision.”
Ontario was the first province to require all drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt in 1976 and Alberta followed it when Alberta’s laws came into effect in the summer of 1987.
Clark says there is no positive reason to not wear your seatbelts.
“People might sight comfort reasons and I know this was a big thing back in the 80s when a lot of these laws got introduced in the first place. But really there is no benefit to not wearing a seatbelt.”
He says the seatbelt distributes the damage across your body to stronger bones like the ribcage and the shoulder bones. The belt helps absorb the impact across the body rather than just at one point of impact. A seatbelt must be worn correctly to work as intended and if worn wrong will still end in a ticket.
“What a lot of people will do is loop the belt over their lap and slide it behind their back but that does not provide you with the same level of protection and is also against the rules of the road.”
He says the spike in seatbelt checks is likely because the traffic unit is in town and they can focus their resources on traffic enforcement.