OPP: Seat Belts Save Lives

Seat belt. BlackburnNews.com file photo by Melanie Irwin.

The OPP are reporting a 20-year low and a steady decrease in seat belt-related deaths.

Officials say a total of 45 seat belt-related road fatalities occurred on OPP-patrolled roads in 2016, marking the lowest number on record in the last two decades.

The figure marked the second year in a row there were fewer than 50 deaths related to a lack of seatbelt use. The number fell below 50 for the first time in 2015.

The OPP says the downward trend is partly because of its Provincial Traffic Safety Program that focuses on lack of seat belt use and other high-risk behaviours that account for the majority of OPP-investigated deaths on roads, waterways and trails.

“The evidence that supports the effectiveness of seat belt use remains irrefutable,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, provincial commander, traffic safety and operational support. “The odds of surviving or avoiding serious injuries in a collision are stacked against those who are not restrained in their seat. In exchange for the few seconds it takes to buckle up, you can cross this risk off the checklist of things that threaten your life on the road.”

Seat Belt Related Fatalities (last 20 years, OPP-patrolled roads only)

2016 – 45
2015 – 46
2014 – 51
2013 – 67
2012-78
2011- 68
2010 – 88
2009 – 65
2008- 76
2007 – 109
2006 – 93
2005- 110
2004 – 112
2003- 122
2002 – 114
2001 – 150
2000 – 152
1999 – 150
1998 – 151
1997 – 168