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Seatbelts Saving Lives In Ontario For 35 Years

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Seatbelts Saving Lives In Ontario For 35 Years

McGuinty Government Continues to Protect Ontario Families

Ministry of Transportation

Ontario's seatbelt law is celebrating its 35th birthday on January 1, 2011

Today, 92.8 per cent of all Ontarians buckle up - that's up from just 17.2 per cent who wore seatbelts before the mandatory law took effect.

Ontario was the first province to require all drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt. The McGuinty government has since expanded the law to include:

  • Increased fines for seatbelt, child seat, and booster seat violations
  • A requirement that every vehicle occupant be buckled up - one person, one seatbelt
  • The mandatory use of appropriate booster and child car seats at all times, whether children are driving with a parent, grand parent or other caregiver.
Since Ontario's seatbelt law first came into effect in 1976, the number of people killed and injured in motor vehicle collisions has steadily dropped and it is estimated that seatbelt use has saved over 8,000 lives.

Quick Facts

  • A driver who is not wearing a seatbelt is more than 40 times more likely to be killed in a crash than one who is properly buckled.
  • The fine for seatbelt, child seat, and booster seat violations is $240 and two demerit points.

Additional Resources


“The evidence is clear - buckling up could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.”

Kathleen Wynne

Transportation Minister

“The OPP will continue to be diligent in our efforts to educate the public and enforce seatbelt legislation. There is no doubt - seatbelts save lives.”

Larry Beechey

OPP Deputy Commissioner, Traffic Safety and Operational Support

“The 35th anniversary of mandatory seat belts in Ontario is a milestone to be celebrated. In the early 1970's Ontario's doctors advocated to make seatbelts mandatory and to introduce adequate restraint devices for infants and young children in the province to help save lives. What was seen as a contentious first step 35 years ago has protected and saved countless lives.”

Mark MacLeod, MD

President, Ontario Medical Association

Media Contacts



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