OPP Media Release
The Ontario Provincial Police will be fully engaged in the 2006 Fall Seat Belt Campaign set to begin Saturday, September 23. The intensive enforcement initiative will run until Sunday, October 8. This year marks the 30-year anniversary of mandatory seat belt usage in Ontario. In 1976, Ontario became the first province in Canada to pass a seat belt law.
During the 2005 Fall Seat Belt Campaign, officers in the North East Region checked 46,260 seat belts and 1,509 child restraints. Seat belt charges numbered 675 and child restraint infractions, 9.
Police officers are firsthand witnesses to the devastating bodily injury and death that occur in a car crash. Every motor vehicle crash is actually comprised of three collisions - the car's collision, which causes the car to buckle and bend as it hits something; the human collision, when the car's occupants slam into part of the vehicle or into each other like a human missile. At the moment of impact, unbelted occupants are still travelling at the vehicle's original speed. This third collision is the internal collision. Even after the occupant's body comes to a complete stop the internal organs are still moving forward. Suddenly, these organs hit other organs or the skeletal system and often cause serious or fatal injuries.
During a crash, properly fastened safety belts distribute the forces of rapid deceleration over larger and stronger parts of the person's body, such as the chest, hips and shoulders. The safety belt stretches slightly to slow the body down and to increase its stopping distance.
“The difference between the belted person's stopping distance and the unbelted person's stopping distance is significant, it's often the difference between life and death,” explains Inspector Mark Andrews Unit Commander, North East Region Traffic & Marine. Remember too, a seat belt will keep you inside your vehicle where your chance of survival is greatest. Please buckle up.”