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Quantifying those least likely to buckle up

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) points to three age demographics that are the least likely to buckle up based on its 10-year fatality data.

Of the 542 people who died between 2012 and 2021 in collisions in which lack of seatbelt use was a factor in their deaths, vehicle occupants between the ages of 25 and 34 had the highest rate of fatalities, accounting for 24 per cent of the deaths. The 15 to 24 year age bracket was the second highest group, at 22.3 per cent, followed by 35 to 44 year-olds at 13.5 per cent of those who died without wearing seatbelts. Drivers (vs. passengers) accounted for 75 per cent of the deaths.   

In 2021, 47 people were killed in OPP-investigated motor vehicle collisions in which failure to wear a seatbelt was a factor in the deaths.

While the majority of road users understand the lifesaving value of seatbelts, the many excuses for failing to buckle up cost road users their lives year after year. The excuses range from only driving a short distance or at low speeds, seatbelts being uncomfortable or no longer needed because of airbags, to the myth that wearing a seatbelt will trap a person and make things worse during a crash, to name a few, police report.

The OPP notes that wearing a seatbelt has been proven time and time again to save lives in a collision. Drivers are encouraged to set a good example for teens and other young drivers and passengers by buckling up for every ride, ensuring they do too, and to help them form a life-long habit of wearing this important life-saving device.    

Drivers are reminded that they are required by law to ensure they have proper (and properly installed) child car seats for babies, toddlers and small children.

In a blitz over the Easter long weekend, OPP laid 1,386 charges throughout the province against drivers and passengers who failed to buckle up and keep themselves safe.

APRIL 22

7:17 AM | Police received a report of a theft from a vehicle in Elmira. Sometime between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. that day, unknown suspect(s) entered two vehicles parked in a driveway on Duke Street. Personal property and a small amount of cash was taken. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.

APRIL 23

10:00 PM | Perth County OPP charged a Milverton driver after they were speeding more than 50 km/h over the limit. An officer was conducting speed enforcement on Perth Road 119 in the Township of Perth East when they stopped a vehicle after it was found to be travelling in excess speed of 135km/h in an 80km/h limit zone.  A 53-year-old Milverton man was charged with ‘race motor vehicle – excessive speed.’ A 30-day driving suspension and 14-day vehicle impoundment were initiated as per statute. The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford at a later date to answer to the charge. 

APRIL 24

10:14 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a shoplifter at a business on Arthur Street South near Earl Martin Drive in Elmira. Two unknown suspects selected merchandise and exited the store without paying. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has information in connection to the incident, is asked to contact police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

APRIL 25

9:31 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a theft in the area of Glasgow and Elgin streets in Conestogo. The victim had their personal belongings stolen while fishing in the area. Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has information in connection to the incident, is asked to contact police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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