Buckle Up For Safety

    McGuinty Government Launches Annual Spring Seatbelt Campaign

    TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ -


    Less than 35 per cent of children between four and eight are properly
secured in motor vehicles, making them four times more likely to suffer a head
injury in a crash.
    That shocking statistic was just one of the messages driven home at the
launch of Ontario's annual seatbelt campaign. The province is joining with
police, fire, emergency services, community safety groups, and health care and
injury professionals across the province to remind drivers that seatbelts and
child safety seats save lives. The campaign, which includes a series of child
safety seat inspection clinics, seatbelt blitzes and other educational
activities runs until April 26th.
    Each year, nearly one third of all people killed in traffic collisions in
Ontario were not wearing seatbelts. Ontario's one-person one seatbelt
(http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/seatbelt.shtml) law requires every
occupant in a motor vehicle to buckle up properly. It is also mandatory for
anyone transporting children under age 16 to ensure they are properly secured
in the appropriate child safety seat or seatbelt.
    About 56 community groups are expected to participate in this year's
Spring Seatbelt Campaign.


    "Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and injury among
children and youth. I urge every parent and caregiver to make sure their
children are properly secured in their child safety seat -it's the law and it
can save their lives."

                                   - Jim Bradley, Minister of Transportation.

    "Each and every day OPP officers see needless injuries and deaths on our
roads that could have been prevented if the person had used their seatbelt.
Don't become one of our traffic statistics - buckle up every time you get in a
motor vehicle."

           - Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski, Ontario Provincial Police.

    "For the men and women of Peel Regional Police, the health and safety of
our residents is of primary importance. On too many occasions we have
witnessed tragedies that could have been prevented through the simple use of a
seatbelt. Our goal is to ensure motorists realize that their own safety, and
that of their children, is directly influenced by their use of seatbelts.
Simply put, seatbelts save lives."

                            - Chief H. Michael Metcalf, Peel Regional Police.


    -   A correctly used child safety seat can reduce the chance of injury or
        death by 75 per cent.
    -   Only 34 per cent of children between the ages of four and eight are
        properly secured in motor vehicles - the rest are using seatbelts. In
        a collision, those children using seatbelts instead of booster seats
        are three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer significant injury,
        and four times more likely to suffer head injury.
    -   All caregivers - from grandparents to babysitters - are responsible
        for ensuring that any child in their care up to age eight is properly


    For a child safety seat to work, it must be used correctly. For help
choosing the seat that's right for your child, and for installation tips,
visit www.ontario.ca/smartlove or call your local public health unit for more
information. You can also contact the Ministry of Transportation's info line
at 1-800-268-4686.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Minister's Office, (416)
327-1815; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158

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