Not Wearing Seatbelts Far Too Popular in Saskatchewan

Nick Murray

Last month, SGI had a question for the people of Saskatchewan: "People NOT wearing seatbelts: How is this still a thing?" and they gave putting an end it to no seatbelts the old college try by dedicating February to a Traffic Safety Spotlight on seatbelts.

"We tried to lay the smackdown on some common excuses for not wearing a seatbelt" said Tyler McMurchy, Media Relations Manager at SGI.

Well, the results are in.

Failing to #BuckleUp is still a thing. It's undeniable. Police issued 400 seatbelt and car seat tickets during February.

Police forces from across Saskatchewan reported 400 offences related to seatbelts or car seats in February. That includes everything from not buckling up, to wearing a seatbelt improperly.

"Looking at you, under the armpit guy" McMurchy said in SGI's press release; which is awfully fitting, considering I, the person penning this article was once given a seatbelt ticket for wearing it under the armpit.

Passengers without seatbelts and children riding in improper car seats were also reported.
 "Look" said McMurchy, "we know most people buckle up, every time. If you’re one of the few people who doesn’t, know this: It makes you far more likely to die in a crash."

McMurchy added, "In 2016, 25 percent of vehicle occupants killed in collisions in Saskatchewan were either not buckled up or improperly restrained."

SGI is adamant that there is no good excuse for not wearing a seatbelt. That's why they've released their "Seatbelt Excuse Smackdown".

Drivers are not only legally responsible for their own seatbelts, they are also responsible for making sure passengers under the age of 16 are wearing their seatbelts or in the appropriate car seat or booster seat, too. For each passenger who isn’t, it will cost the driver a $175 fine and three points on the Safe Driver Recognition scale. (Unbelted passengers 16 or over are responsible for their own fines). 

SGI wants to remind everybody to make sure they are buckled properly, as well. In order to do so they need to ensure the lap belt is pulled tight over the hips, not the abdomen. The shoulder belt should fit snugly over the middle of the shoulder and across the chest, and not be tucked behind.
If drivers are uncertain as to which seat is best for their child’s age, they are welcomed to attend a free car seat clinic to learn.

Other results from the February spotlight included*:
312 impaired driving offences (including 266 Criminal Code charges)
407 distracted driving offences (324 of those for cellphone use)
3,660 speeding/aggressive driving offences
 March is focused on a different campaign: #JustDrive. Police continue to look for distracted drivers throughout the month of March.
* Includes all traffic safety focus results for February 2018 submitted by police as of March 21, 2018.

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