Spring Seatbelt Campaign Has Begun



    Properly Installed Child Car Safety Seats Save Lives

    QUEEN'S PARK, April 17 /CNW/ - Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield
today reminded Ontarians to buckle up, and to also make sure that all children
are in child car seats and booster seats that are properly installed.
    "During this year's spring seatbelt campaign, I urge everyone who uses a
child car safety seat or booster seat to take the time to ensure it is
correctly in place," said Cansfield. "It's smart love and it's the law."
    This year's Spring Seatbelt Campaign runs from April 16 to 30. Child car
safety seat sessions are being offered across the province to coincide with
the campaign, to provide parents with the information they need to properly
install a child car seat or booster seat.
    "The McGuinty government changed the law to require that everyone riding
in a car, van or truck wear a seatbelt," said Cansfield. "Our 'one person, one
seatbelt law' has given police the tools they need to enforce the new law and
increase passenger safety."
    Passengers 16 years and older who don't wear a seatbelt face a fine of
$110. Drivers who fail to ensure passengers under the age of 16 are properly
secured by a seatbelt or in the appropriate child car seat or booster seat
also face a fine of $110 and two demerit points.
    "To make sure your child's car seat is correctly installed, read the car
seat owner's manual and check out the ministry's Smart Love website or
www.caasco.ca," said Edyta Zdancewicz, media and public relations specialist
of the Canadian Automobile Association, South Central Ontario. "If you're
still having trouble, come to a child car safety seat clinic, which are
organized by community safety groups to help show parents and caregivers how
to properly install their child's car safety seats."
    For more information on the proper installation of child car safety
seats, parents and caregivers can log onto Ontario's Smart Love website at
www.ontario.ca/smartlove, or contact the Ministry of Transportation's Info
Line at 1-800-268-4686. Information can also be obtained from local public
health units or St. John Ambulance.
    
    The McGuinty government has introduced several measures to keep Ontario
families safe including:
    -   Cracking down on street racers and drivers who drink, the
        introduction of Bill 203, Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act, 2007
    -   Closing a loophole in the law that previously did not require
        everyone in a car, van or truck to wear a seatbelt under Ontario's
        one person, one seatbelt law
    -   Making booster seats mandatory for children under the age of eight
        who weigh between 18 kg and 36 kg (40-80 lbs.), with a standing
        height of less than 145 cm (57 inches or 4 feet, 9 inches).
    -   Requiring all school buses to be equipped with safety-crossing arms
        as of January 2008.

    Disponible en français

                              www.mto.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         SEATBELT SAFETY FOR EVERYONE
    

    Ontario's 2007 spring seatbelt campaign runs from April 16 to April 30.
This year's campaign reminds drivers of Ontario's one person, one seatbelt
law, with a continued focus on the safety of young passengers, especially
those who require child car seats and booster seats.

    "One Person, One Seatbelt" Law

    On October 16, 2006, the McGuinty government strengthened seatbelt laws
by introducing legislation requiring every passenger and driver to wear a
seatbelt when travelling in a motor vehicle on Ontario's roads. The "one
person, one seatbelt" legislation came into force on December 1, 2006.
    Drivers are responsible for ensuring passengers under the age of 16 are
properly secured in a seatbelt, child car safety seat or booster seat.
Passengers who appear to be at least 16 years of age are responsible for
buckling themselves up and are required to provide their name, address and
date of birth to a police officer for the purpose of enforcing proper seatbelt
use.
    This legislation also prohibits "doubling up" - two or more people using
the same seatbelt at the same time.
    Conviction of a driver or passenger for failing to use, or improperly
using, a seatbelt results in a fine of $110. In addition to a fine, drivers
who fail to use or who improperly use a seatbelt will also have two demerit
points applied to their driver record.
    Drivers who fail to ensure that a passenger under 16 years of age is
wearing a seatbelt or is secured in the appropriate child car safety seat or
booster seat are subject to the same fines and two demerit points.

    
    Child car seat legislation

    Effective September 1, 2005, the Highway Traffic Act:
    -   Requires all caregivers, including grandparents and babysitters, to
        use child car seats or booster seats when transporting children
    -   Requires booster seats for children who have outgrown child car seats
        but are still too small to be fully protected by seatbelts alone
    -   Assigns two demerit points, a $110 fine for failing to use a booster
        seat or child car seats, or for using them incorrectly.

    Requirements for rear-facing infant car seats

    Must be used for newborns and infants weighing less than 9 kg (20 lb.).

    Requirements for forward-facing car seats

    Forward-facing car seats - with a tether strap to better anchor the seat -
must be used to secure toddlers who:
    -   Weigh between 9 kg and 18 kg (20-40 lb.)

    These children are normally able to pull themselves up to a standing
position and are about one year old.

    Requirements for booster seats

    Must be used for children who:
    -   Weigh between 18 kg and 36 kg (40-80 lb.)
    -   Are less than 145 cm (57 in., or 4 ft. 9 in.) tall
    -   Are younger than eight years old.

    Requirements for seatbelts

    A child can be properly protected by a seatbelt alone once any of the
following criteria is met:
    -   Are eight years old
    -   Are at least 145 cm (57 in., or 4 ft. 9 in.) tall
    -   Weigh 36 kg (80 lb.)

    Exemptions

    Taxis, public vehicles and buses while transporting a passenger for hire,
ambulances, vehicles on short-term lease, and those from other jurisdictions
are exempt from the new child car safety seat and booster seat regulations.

    Cost and what seat to buy

    Booster seats can cost between $30 and $160. A higher price does not
guarantee a safer booster seat. Caregivers should ensure they understand how
to use the seat and that it includes a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
label. Booster seats and child car safety seats are exempt from retail sales
tax.

    Proper installation

    Parents and caregivers are encouraged to consult their vehicle owner's
manual and child car safety seat instruction manual for installation and use.
There are safety seat inspection clinics and parents can visit the MTO website
at www.ontario.ca/smartlove or they can also get information from local public
health units or St. John Ambulance.

    Contact:
    Bob Nichols
    Ministry of Transportation
    416-327-1158

    Disponible en français

                              www.mto.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jamie Rilett, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-9134; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158;
Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free,
1-866-471-8929 TTY

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Ontario Ministry of Transportation

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