OPP report 20 per cent increase in seat belt related deaths

Forty two (42) people who were not safely buckled up have died in collisions on OPP-patrolled roads so far this year, a 20 percent spike over the 35 seat belt-related deaths at this time last year.

As OPP officers gear up for their Fall Seat Belt Campaign, they are reminding drivers and passengers that being ejected from a vehicle is not the only threat people have to worry about if they are not wearing a seat belt and are involved in a collision.

Over the past five years, the OPP has investigated 233 motor vehicle deaths that were linked to lack of seat belt use. A breakdown of the total revealed that 103 of unbuckled vehicle occupants who died in the collisions were ejected from the vehicle while the remaining 130 victims were not ejected but died of injuries they sustained inside the vehicle.

“The OPP’s front-line officers know first-hand from responding to tens of thousands of motor vehicle collisions every year that a driver or passenger’s best chance of surviving a crash is by buckling up and benefitting from the proven, science-based protection a seat belt is designed to provide,” says Deputy Commissioner Rose DiMarco, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support .

During the campaign, the OPP will be highly visible throughout the province as they conduct education and enforcement initiatives aimed at getting drivers and passengers to do their part to save lives by buckling up and ensuring children are properly restrained.