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 ( 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 or

Just Posted

Ponoka’s ag society board under scrutiny during AGM

About 80 people attended the society’s AGM, which saw three directors replaced

Ponoka teen pedestrian suffers injuries after pickup collision

A pickup struck a teen on residential streets in Ponoka

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

PHOTOS: Battle of Ponoka basketball action

The first ever senior high basketball league game for both Ponoka high schools was high energy

Guards injured, money stolen during overnight blast at Edmonton bank

Alberta Health Services said the injuries to the male guard were serious

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Most Read