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OPP raising alarm rising road fatalities due to lack of seatbelt use

A car is turned over in a multi-vehicle crash on the westbound lanes of Hwy. 401 just east of Toronto on Aug. 31, 2018.
A car is turned over in a multi-vehicle crash on the westbound lanes of Hwy. 401 just east of Toronto on Aug. 31, 2018. Kerry Schmidt/OPP

The OPP is reporting an increase in the number of road fatalities in which individuals were not wearing a seatbelt.

There have been 34 so far in 2018 compared with 30 at this time last year.

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Penalties for driving without a seatbelt can reach up to $1,000 and two demerit points.

Officials are reminding motorists that an airbag is not meant to replace a seatbelt and that catastrophic injury can occur even when it deploys.

“Regardless of technological advances in vehicle safety, a seat belt remains your first line of defence and your best chance of surviving a collision,” Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support, said in a statement. “While air bags are a second line of defence, they will not restrain you. Only your seat belt can hold you in place. Whether you are a driver or passenger, don’t let anyone in a vehicle be without their seat belt properly fastened.”

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The OPP says it will be out in full force this week as part of its’ Fall Seat Belt Campaign.

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