OTTAWA – The latest results of two Transport Canada surveys show more Canadians than ever using seatbelts.
The number of vehicle occupants using seatbelts across Canada has risen almost four per cent over the past year to 90.5 per cent (compared to approximately 87 per cent in the last survey), according to the results of the 2004-2005 surveys of seatbelt use.
In rural areas, the rate of seatbelt usage for all occupants is 86.9 per cent and, in urban areas, it is 91.1 per cent.
�While the percentage of occupants wearing seatbelts has increased during the latest surveys, a significant number of Canadians continue to put themselves at risk by not wearing their seatbelts,� said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. �I strongly encourage the travelling public to wear their seatbelts and exercise caution at all times to reduce even further injuries and the possible loss of life.�
The surveys measured the seatbelt usage rate separately in rural and urban areas. Rural Canada was defined as towns with a population of less than 10,000 but more than 1,000, while urban Canada was defined as communities with a population over 10,000, including communities with a population of less than 10,000 that are located within a metropolitan area. Both surveys targeted all the occupants of light duty vehicles including passenger cars, pickup trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles.
Transport Canada conducted the surveys in support of the National Occupant Restraint Program 2010, which aims to increase seatbelt use by Canadians. The program�s goal is to achieve a minimum of 95 per cent seatbelt usage and proper use of child restraints by 2010. It forms an important component of Road Safety Vision 2010, a national plan of action endorsed by the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety, and other key road safety stakeholders, to make Canada�s roads the safest in the world.
In these latest surveys, a total of 123,898 vehicles and 176,969 occupants were observed at 515 sites across Canada. The next seatbelt survey is planned for September 2006. Future surveys will provide Transport Canada with comparable data that can be used to detect trends and issues in seatbelt usage.
The surveys are available on Transport Canada�s road safety website at www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp2436/rs200601/menu.htm.
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Transport Canada’s mission is to develop and administer policies, regulations and services for the best transportation system for Canada and Canadians � one that is safe and secure, efficient, affordable, integrated and environmentally friendly. Learn more about who we are by looking at our organization and senior management structure. Or learn more about what we do by browsing our departmental publications, list of programs and services, or acts and regulations for which the Minister of Transport is responsible. Visit us at www.tc.gc.ca