Provincial Police Are Reminding Drivers: Airbags Do Not Replace Seat Belts

buckling a seat beltSome drivers think they do not need to wear a seat belt because their car has airbags and these devices will protect them from injury if they crash. However, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding drivers of the importance of seat belts in an accident.

A seat belt is still the first line of defence and gives you the best chance of surviving a collision, according to a statement in a news release by Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair. Airbags are a second line of defence, but they do not restrain you and hold you in place.

According to police, without a seat belt, a head-on collision can become much more dangerous because occupants can be launched toward the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. Airbags will not prevent occupants from being launched forward in this type of collision.

So far this year, 34 people killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts. Last year, 49 fatalities on Ontario roads were linked to victims not wearing seat belts. Transport Canada reports that 93 per cent of Canadians wear seat belts while in cars. The other seven per cent who do not account for nearly 40 percent of deaths in motor vehicle crashes.

Today, OPP launched its Fall Seat Belt Campaign, which runs from September 26 to October 5. The program will involve education and enforcement initiatives to encourage people to wear their seat belts when in passenger vehicles.

OPP will be on patrol spot checking to ensure people are buckled up. Drivers charged with not wearing seat belts could face a $240 fine and two demerit points.

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