One person, one seatbelt: McGuinty Government tightens seatbelt laws

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New measure will require a seatbelt for every passenger

QUEEN’S PARK, Oct. 16 – The McGuinty government today introduced legislation to strengthen seatbelt laws and save lives on Ontario roads.

“This government made it mandatory for all children to be secured in a child car safety seat or booster seat when travelling. We’re taking it one step further,” said Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield. “We want to prevent people from getting into a vehicle that doesn’t have enough seatbelts. Today, I have introduced legislation that would require one seatbelt for every passenger in a vehicle.”

Canada’s home, car and business insurers said they strongly support today’s amendments to the Highway Traffic Act dealing with seatbelts.

“We applaud Minister Donna Cansfield for taking swift action to address this serious road safety concern,” said Mark Yakabuski, Vice-President, Federal Affairs and Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “As an early proponent of the first seatbelt laws in Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada is proud once again to support the latest enhancements to this landmark legislation.

“Ontario’s road safety record is the envy of the world precisely because of forward-looking legislation like the amendments introduced today. We are confident that today’s changes will help prevent further injury and death on our roads, and we fully encourage the Legislative Assembly to enact the bill as quickly as possible,” added Yakabuski.

In 1976, Ontario was the first jurisdiction in North America to make wearing seatbelts mandatory.

The most recent survey by Transport Canada found that Ontario has the second-highest rate of seatbelt use in urban areas in Canada — nearly 93 per cent. That’s above the national average of just over 91 per cent.

At the same time, the latest statistics show about one-third of all drivers and passengers killed in motor vehicle collisions were not wearing seatbelts.

The one person-one seatbelt legislation would, if passed, require seatbelt use for every person in the vehicle.

“For every one-per-cent increase in seatbelt usage, five lives are saved. That’s why we introduced legislation today to ensure that everyone who gets in a vehicle on an Ontario road is safely secured,” said Cansfield.

For more information, visit www.mto.gov.on.ca or www.ibc.ca.