Wearing your seatbelt is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting injured or even killed in a crash. It's also the law.
What happens if you or your child is in a 50 km/h head-on crash, and not wearing a seatbelt?
A 150-pound adult will collide with other occupants, strike the inside of the vehicle or get thrown from the car with the same force as the weight of a 3½-ton truck.
An unrestrained 25-pound child will be thrown forward with the same force as the weight of 1,200-pound baby elephant.
Seatbelt wearing tips
Wear a lap/shoulder belt system when available. Position the lap belt low over the pelvic bones (hips) and the shoulder belt over the shoulder and across the chest. Never place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back. It's dangerous.
Never recline your seat while wearing a seatbelt in a moving vehicle.
Remove all slack from the lap and shoulder belt.
Never place a rear-facing infant restraint in a passenger seat that has an active airbag.
Never carry a child in your arms while riding in a motor vehicle. You can't protect them during a crash.
Our seatbelt laws and regulations
Every seat used in your vehicle must have a seatbelt.
If you own or drive older vehicles (such as large buses) that aren't made with seatbelts, you don't need to retrofit them. But you may only carry as many passengers as the manufacturer provided seating positions.
The following table lists the number of the specific Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) and what it covers.
MVA 220 (1)
A seatbelt assembly includes a pelvic restraint, an upper torso restraint or both.
MVA 220 (2)
A person must not sell, offer for sale or operate a motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after December 1, 1963, other than a motorcycle, unless it is equipped with at least two seatbelt assemblies in the front seat.
MVA 220 (3)
A person must not operate a motor vehicle that has had the seatbelts removed, rendered partly or wholly inoperative, or modified to reduce its effectiveness.
MVA 220 (4)
A seatbelt assembly must be worn when a motor vehicle is being operated.
MVA 220 (6)
Drivers must ensure that passengers who have attained 6 years of age but are under 16 years of age, are properly restrained.
How much you'll pay
There's a $167 fine for MVA infractions (including a 15 per cent victim surcharge). The amount can be reduced by $25 if the ticket is paid within 30 days.
It isn't just if you're caught without a seatbelt. The list below shows other seatbelt-related infractions and fines.
If you're caught doing any of the following, then you'll also be ticketed:
operating a vehicle without seatbelts
operating a vehicle with inoperative seatbelts
failing to remain seated
failing to be the only occupant of the seat
operating a vehicle while person is riding on vehicle
operating a vehicle while more than one person in seat
operating vehicle while person is not seated
operating vehicle with too many seats
failing to wear a seatbelt (fine increased)
permitting passenger without a seatbelt (fine increased)
If you're caught operating a vehicle with too many people in the vehicle you'll be given a $311 ticket (including victim surcharge).
If you're an employer or owner of vehicles, then you could get a $598 ticket (including victim surcharge) for:
requiring or allowing a vehicle to be operated with too many people in the vehicle;
requiring or allowing a vehicle to be operated with inoperative seatbelts;
requiring or allowing a vehicle to be operated with too many seats
You should always refer to the Motor Vehicle Act ("MVA") and the Motor Vehicle Act Regulation ("MVR") for a full statement of the law. In the event of a conflict between the foregoing summary and the MVA or the MVR, the MVA and the MVR prevail.