May 2, 2007

OPP inspects more than one million vehicles in Ontario-wide seatbelt campaign

Orillia, Ontario – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) made more than one million seatbelt and child seat checks province-wide during its two-week annual spring seatbelt campaign, which ran April 16 to 30.

The OPP carried out 1,110,144 inspections, up from 802,947 during the 2006 campaign. Officers laid 13,367 charges for non-compliance in 2007, compared to 9,194 last year. During the campaign in 2007, there were 18 fatal collisions; of the 11 where seatbelts were available to occupants, they were not wearing a seatbelt 36 per cent of the time.

“Officers did an outstanding job throughout the campaign,” says OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino. “I appreciate their efforts to protect the people of Ontario. While it’s encouraging to see that more than 90 per cent of motorists comply with the law, it’s distressing to see that a small minority still doesn’t get the message. A disproportionate number of people not buckled up continue to die in collisions. Many of those deaths could have, and should have been prevented.”

Fantino says that under the OPP’s new Provincial Traffic Safety Program, traffic safety and enforcement is the job of more than 5,000 uniform officers, not just those regularly assigned to traffic enforcement.

During vehicle stops, the OPP found more than just non-compliance with seatbelt and child seat laws; in one inspection in the Greater Toronto Area, officers doing a routine inspection found two loaded handguns in a vehicle. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $110 and two demerit points.

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