REGINA – Beginning Friday booster seats will now be mandatory for children under the age of 7 in Saskatchewan.
In an effort to help residents comply with the new legislation, SGI and Canadian Tire are teaming up to offer coupons for a free booster seat to drivers when they are caught without one.
The coupons will be handed out by police as ‘positive enforcement’ instead of a ticket and will be redeemable for one free booster seat at any SGI claims centre in Saskatchewan.
“We appreciate the support Canadian Tire has provided, helping us offer parents a solution instead of a fine or ticket when children are not properly secured in a booster seat,” Minister responsible for SGI Don McMorris said.
“Our goal with the new legislation is to keep children safe and prevent deaths and injuries due to collisions on Saskatchewan roads and highways.”
Canadian Tire has donated 200 booster seats for this initiative and the free booster seat coupons will be handed out by police in July.
Caregivers with children shorter than 4’9” or weighing less than 80 pounds, even if they are seven, are urged to consider sticking with a booster seat, although it is not law.
“Seatbelts alone are not safe for children,” Regina Police Service Constable Nolan Bespalko said. “I have seen firsthand the difference that a booster seat makes in terms of protection and preventing injuries.”
According to SGI, 84 children aged six and under were injured and two were killed while riding in vehicles in 2012.
Of those, 18 injured children were not restrained at all or were improperly restrained. Another 28 of the injured children were wearing a seatbelt that may have been inappropriate.
The fine for failing to secure a child in an appropriate booster seat or child seat is $175 – the same amount that an adult is charged for not wearing a seatbelt.