TORONTO, April 15 2009 – Less than 35 per cent of children between four and eight are properly secured in motor vehicles, making them four times more likely to suffer a head injury in a crash.
That shocking statistic was just one of the messages driven home at the launch of Ontario’s annual seatbelt campaign. The province is joining with police, fire, emergency services, community safety groups, and health care and injury professionals across the province to remind drivers that seatbelts and child safety seats save lives. The campaign, which includes a series of child safety seat inspection clinics, seatbelt blitzes and other educational activities runs until April 26th.
Each year, nearly one third of all people killed in traffic collisions in Ontario were not wearing seatbelts. Ontario’s one-person one seatbelt (http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/seatbelt.shtml) law requires every occupant in a motor vehicle to buckle up properly. It is also mandatory for anyone transporting children under age 16 to ensure they are properly secured in the appropriate child safety seat or seatbelt.
About 56 community groups are expected to participate in this year’s Spring Seatbelt Campaign.
“Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and injury among children and youth. I urge every parent and caregiver to make sure their children are properly secured in their child safety seat -it’s the law and it can save their lives.”
Jim Bradley, Minister of Transportation.
“Each and every day OPP officers see needless injuries and deaths on our roads that could have been prevented if the person had used their seatbelt. Don’t become one of our traffic statistics – buckle up every time you get in a motor vehicle.”
Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski, Ontario Provincial Police.
“For the men and women of Peel Regional Police, the health and safety of our residents is of primary importance. On too many occasions we have witnessed tragedies that could have been prevented through the simple use of a seatbelt. Our goal is to ensure motorists realize that their own safety, and that of their children, is directly influenced by their use of seatbelts. Simply put, seatbelts save lives.”
Chief H. Michael Metcalf, Peel Regional Police.
- A correctly used child safety seat can reduce the chance of injury or death by 75 per cent.
- Only 34 per cent of children between the ages of four and eight are properly secured in motor vehicles – the rest are using seatbelts. In a collision, those children using seatbelts instead of booster seats are three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer significant injury, and four times more likely to suffer head injury.
- All caregivers – from grandparents to babysitters – are responsible for ensuring that any child in their care up to age eight is properly secured.
For a child safety seat to work, it must be used correctly. For help choosing the seat that’s right for your child, and for installation tips, visit www.ontario.ca/smartlove or call your local public health unit for more information. You can also contact the Ministry of Transportation’s info line at 1-800-268-4686.