The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program for the month of March will be Occupant Restraints.
Police will strategic enforcement and conduct check stops in various locations targeting not only seat belts, but also checking Child Occupant Restraints to ensure they are properly installed in the vehicle and that the child is in the appropriate seat / position. If you are caught not wearing your seatbelt the fine is $155.
Infants under 1 year of age and under 22lbs (10kg) should remain rear facing. Once a child is over 1 year old, is at least 22 lbs (10kg) and can get themselves from a seated to a standing position without any type of assistance they can be turned forward facing. Forward facing child safety seats normally have a 5 point harness and are attached to the back seat via a seatbelt or by using the vehicle’s LATCH system.
Information on notices and recalls of child safety seats can be found at: www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/safedrivers/childsafety/
or by calling Transport Canada toll free at 1-800-333-0371
Once a child weighs 40lbs (18kg) and is 40” tall, they have outgrown a child safety seat and move to a booster seat. All children under 9 years of age who weigh less than 80 lb (36 kg) or are under 4’9″ (145 cm) should remain in a booster seat to help position the seat belt properly on the child’s body. A child is 4 times more likely to suffer a head injury in a crash when using just an adult seat belt than when buckled in a booster seat
A child is ready to move to a seat belt when he can:
- Sit with the lap portion of the belt low across the hips
- Sit with the shoulder part of the belt crossing between the neck and arm
- Sit with his knees bent comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat
- Sit with his back against the back of the vehicle seat without slouching AND
- Remain in this position for the whole trip
Unbelted occupants are one of the leading causes of death and serious injury in motor vehicle collisions. In 2003, the last year for which statistics are available, 43% of deaths are unbelted occupants and 57% of dead youths were unbelted.