November 8, 2018 1:29 am
Updated: November 8, 2018 1:30 am

Alberta RCMP remind people to buckle up in vehicles

WATCH: Alberta RCMP are reminding motorists about the importance of seatbelt safety. They say a staggering number of collision fatalities in Canada involve people who were not wearing them. Malika Karim reports.

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Alberta RCMP delivered a familiar message this week, reminding drivers to follow the law and buckle up.

It’s not a choice. Yet, in Canada, RCMP said 40 per cent of fatalities in vehicle collisions are due to people not wearing seatbelts.

In Alberta, the numbers speak for themselves.

“In 2016, there were 53 people that lost their lives in collisions directly related to them not wearing seatbelts,” said Coaldale RCMP Staff-Sgt. Glenn Henry. “The number was around 375 people that were injured.”

Over the past 12 months, the Coaldale RCMP detachment said there were five fatalities from vehicle collisions on roads surrounding the Lethbridge area, though none of those were seatbelt-related.

“In one breath, we’re thanking people for wearing their seatbelts,” Henry said. “On the other hand, we do enforce the Traffic Safety Act and we had around 212 people charged last year for not wearing their seatbelts.”

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Henry has a message for drivers who forget to buckle up, are in a hurry or say they’re just driving down the street and think they don’t need to wear a seatbelt.

“We’re not really interested in the excuse part,” Henry said. “No different than distracted driving. There’s no lawful excuse not to wear your seatbelt. We regrettably have a number of collisions in our province, throughout the province and I think it’s shown that seatbelts do save lives.”

RCMP said it’s a good reminder to tell people to buckle up, and to make sure their passengers do as well.

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