The Alberta Office of Traffic Safety has new online modules available for people to learn how to install or check to see if their child seat is in properly. File photo

Alberta hoping to encourage more seatbelt use in March

New website designed to assist parents with proper child restraint installation

As March nears the halfway mark and spring crawls closer, Albertans are being reminded about the need for everyone in the vehicle to be buckled up properly.

Police forces across the province have been conducting enforcement this month, while also a number of education events have been held to ensure people know how important clicking-in is to their safety. Also a part of these events are free child restraint clinics, where individuals can have their child car seats inspected and/or installed by qualified inspectors.

Dean Vegso, community mobilization consultant Alberta Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), explained the education component of the project is important for OTS and Alberta Transportation reaching their goal of 100 per cent compliance.

“That is why we are partnering with various non-profit organizations on the child seat clinics and attending various trade shows. Doing that last year, we were about to touch base with around 17,000 people,” said Vegso.

According to Alberta Transportation statistics from 2016, occupant restraints decreased the rate and severity of injuries during a collision — as 6.8 per cent of those wearing a restraint injured versus 22.4 per cent of those that didn’t. In addition, 53 people died and 375 were injured in a 2016 collision due to not being properly restrained.

Proper use can reduce fatal and serious injuries by 45 to 65 per cent, depending on the vehicle type and seating position, while it’s estimated about 200,000 people out on Alberta roads currently don’t put on a seatbelt.

The ticket for not wearing or improperly using a seatbelt or child seat is $155, and the driver will receive the ticket for those under 16 that are not restrained properly.

Vegso admits not all Albertans can get their child seat looked at by a qualified inspector, so OTS has developed several online modules (www.albertaseatbelts.ca/TrainingModules) to help.

“Vehicle safety is a shared responsibility and, while we are trying to build capacity by encouraging communities to have certified technicians by offering training, we are not going to be able to get everywhere,” he stated.

“The modules go some way to actively addressing that and gives people with questions a place to go online that can be easily navigated. It also helps us reach a different, larger, and even isolated, audience with something everyone can access.”

In a release earlier this month, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation Brian Mason stated, “While we have come a long way in getting Albertans to buckle up, the number of people who do not use seat belts regularly is still too high. For everyone’s safety, please buckle up and make sure your children are in the proper safety seat before you shift into drive.”

And while the hope is everyone will buckle up, Vegso said there is only so much that can be done to get people to do it.

“In our message, we have to stay positive and remind people that buckling up is the right thing to do, because it can’t all be just about enforcement. There has to be the right balance to ensure everyone’s safety.”

For more information, check out www.saferoads.com or www.albertaseatbelts.ca.

Just Posted

Highway 53 concerns being looked at

Speed zone change being contemplated, other issues will depend on who has jurisdiction

UPDATE: Man reported missing has been located safely

Ponoka RCMP had been looking to find Joseph Desjarlais

SuperNet provider Axia cannot guarantee continued service

Alberta’s health, schools, libraries, municipal governments at risk from delayed bidding

Court full as schools, parents dispute Alberta gay-straight alliance law

Justice Centre argues keeping parents out of the loop violates freedom of religion and expression

Research paper states low income earners hit hardest by dairy supply management

Canada’s poorest spend more of annual income on food staples than higher income earners

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Innisfail RCMP respond to a shoplifting incident

Red Deer man and woman face charges

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

After World Cup lineup photographed, England urges media to help team

Now the England camp is actually asking media: Are you with us or against us?

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Most Read