Ontario's Seatbelt Law turns 40 this year. It was enacted in 1976, making seatbelt use mandatory. Cars were already being built with seatbelts by that point—although none came with belts before 1962.
According to the 2013 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, over 90 per cent of Ontarians now wear their seatbelts—and as a result, the fatality rate has fallen an amazing 85 percent.
But even with the knowledge that wearing a seatbelt dramatically increases chances of surviving a collision, some people still don’t do it.
In 2012, about one in every four motorists killed on Ontario's roads was unbelted. And in the same year, 31,398 drivers and passengers were penalized for not wearing seatbelts.
To mark the 40th anniversary of Ontario's mandatory seatbelt law, both the OPP and the Canadian Automobile Association, South Central Ontario are reminding motorists to buckle up.
“Every year, our officers tend to crash victims of all ages who are not buckled in at the time of the collision,” adds the OPP. “More often than not, they die as a result of being ejected, partially ejected, or from the physical trauma they sustained inside the vehicle.”
“Fortunately, our officers have also witnessed numerous victims survive their ordeal as a result of being restrained in their seat.
“Every life is worth the five seconds it takes to buckle up.”