May 25, 2005

Survey shows many Canadians not buckling up

Ottawa, Ontario – Results from a September 2004 Transport Canada survey indicate that a significant number of Canadians in rural areas are not wearing their seatbelts.

The study showed that in rural Canada, almost 87 per cent of all occupants of light-duty vehicles buckle up. This is up two per cent from a previous study in 2002 but remains short of the national target of 95 per cent. Provinces at or above the national average were Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

“The safety of Canadians is our main concern,” said Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre. “The lives of almost half of the occupants of vehicles involved in collisions are saved because they were wearing their seatbelts. Seatbelts save lives, it’s as simple as that.”

The survey was the second rural seatbelt survey done in Canada, and targeted all occupants of light-duty vehicles, which include passenger cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs. A total of 39,769 vehicles and 58,743 occupants were observed during the survey.

In the fall of 2005, Transport Canada will conduct a survey of urban communities that will complement the 2004 rural survey.

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