Road Safety

Seat belts

Click here to watch our 60 Second Driver segment on seat belts.

Did you know seat belts were originally developed in the 1880s to keep people from bouncing out of horse-drawn buggies?

They serve a much greater purpose today. In fact, seat belts worn correctly can reduce the chances of death in a collision by 47% and the chances of serious injury by 52%.* In Manitoba, according to police-reported data, you are nearly 26 times more likely to be killed and two times more likely to be seriously injured when not wearing a seatbelt. Almost 30 per cent of those killed on Manitoba roadways in 2014 weren't buckled up.

It's important to keep in mind that half of all collisions occur within 40 km of home. Whether a short trip or a long one—seat belts can save your life. Buckling up your seat belt should be as automatic as turning over the ignition.

According to a Transport Canada’s 2009-10 observational study, the seat belt wearing rate was 94.5 per cent percent in urban Manitoba communities (2010) and 90.7 per cent in rural communities (2009), for a combined rate of 93.8 per cent. This is an improvement from the last studies conducted in 2006 (rural) and 2007 (urban), which reported Manitoba’s usage rate at 86.9 and 89.7 per cent, respectively.

Increases in seat belt use can be attributed to Manitoba having one of the highest fines in the country—almost $300 and two demerits—against unbelted drivers, high enforcement levels, and educational programs stressing the importance of buckling up.

Need more incentive to buckle you and your passengers up? Here are a few things to remember:

  • the driver can be penalized for not wearing a seat belt
  • the driver can also be ticketed $299.65 for each passenger under the age of 18 who is not properly buckled up, either with a seat belt or in a child car seat
  • passengers 18 years and over can be ticketed similarly for not buckling up

*Source: Transport Canada.