Car Safety

In the province of Ontario, seat belts are mandatory for the driver and all passengers, and child car seats and/or booster seats are mandatory for all children up to the age of eight.

Seat Belts

  • In Ontario, every person travelling in a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt or use a child car seat. The penalty for a seat belt or child car seat infraction includes a fine of up to $1000 and drivers convicted of a seat belt or child car seat infraction receive two demerit points.
  • Drivers are responsible for ensuring that passengers under 16 years of age are using the seat belt or an appropriate child car seat.
  • Wearing your seat belt properly will dramatically increase your chance of surviving a motor vehicle collision.
  • For every one per cent increase in seat belt usage, five lives in Canada are saved (Transport Canada).
  • Since seat belts were made mandatory, the number of people killed and injured in collisions in Ontario has steadily dropped (MTO Ontario Road Safety Annual Report).

A typical seat belt consists of a lap and shoulder belt. The shoulder portion of the belt must be worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest, never under the arm. The lap portion of the belt must be firm against the body and low across the hips.

Car Seats

  • Child car seats and/or booster seats are required for children up to the age of 8, weighing between 18 kg. to 36 kg. (40-80 lb.) and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches).
  • Properly used child car seats and booster seats can significantly reduce the chance of children being hurt and/or killed in a collision.
  • Many car seats are installed improperly. Common errors include not tightening the seat belt and harness enough, and not properly using a tether strap when required.
  • For additional information on child car seats, including booster seats, visit  www.ontario.ca/transportation

Related Lesson Plans

Grade 4 to 6: Vehicle Safety

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