According to Alberta Transportation, 95.1% of Albertans were using seatbelts in 2011 (Alberta Transportation 2012). However, there continues to be a number of drivers that either avoid compliance altogether or are inconsistent in their use of occupant restraints. This March, the Alberta RCMP reminds drivers and passengers that seatbelts and child safety seats are the most effective ways to protect occupants from injury in the event of a collision.
"Putting on your seatbelt or using a child safety seat isn't just the law, it's also the smart thing to do. Seatbelts improve your chances of surviving a serious crash by 50%, so make sure you're protecting yourself and your passengers by buckling up every time," said Inspector Steve Daley, Acting Officer-in-Charge of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.
In 2016, Integrated Traffic Units (ITU) issued 10,502 tickets to drivers and passengers in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions for not wearing a seatbelt. From 2009 to 2014, approximately 2,499 people died or suffered serious injuries due to not using the proper restraint at the time of the collision.
In Alberta, it is the law to wear a seatbelt and use child safety seats. Adults must wear a seatbelt, while children under 6 years old or under 40 lbs (18 kg) must ride in a car seat. Airbags are a supplemental device that only function properly if the occupant is restrained in a proper position by a seatbelt. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt or not using a safety seat is $155.
Integrated Traffic Units consists of RCMP and Alberta Traffics Sheriffs working together in a collaborative effort to deliver effective and efficient traffic safety services to Albertans, with a focus on identified enforcement priorities. Alberta RCMP and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs have been working together for safe highways since 2010.