Traffic safety tips
March’s traffic safety focus is Occupant Restraints.
It’s important to buckle up every time you drive, no matter how short the distance. Properly used seatbelts can reduce fatal and serious injury by 45 to 65 per cent. It’s the law in Alberta for drivers and passengers to use a seatbelt; there’s a $162 fine for not complying. GDL drivers will also receive two demerit points if they drive with more passengers than seat belts.
- Drivers and passengers must always wear a seatbelt
- Don’t turn off airbags as they are designed to work with seatbelts, not replace them
- Never remove or modify seatbelts
- Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm
The type of seat a child needs depends on many things, including age, size, and developmental needs. Finding the right seat can be overwhelming. Here are a few rules and guidelines to help keep children safe:
- Drivers are responsible for making sure children under the age of 16 are properly restrained
- Children younger than six years old who weigh less than 18 kilograms (40 pounds) must be in a properly installed child safety seat. Once they exceed this weight, they should be in a booster seat.
- While not required by law, booster seats are highly recommended because they help position the child, so the seat belt fits properly.
- A child without a booster seat or with an improperly fitting seatbelt can be three and a half times more likely to suffer a significant injury in the event of a collision.
- Children are safest in a rear-facing car seat until they’re at least two years old; then they can move to a forward-facing car seat
- A child is safest in the back seat until they’re at least 13 years old
While it’s fun to have your furry companion in the passenger seat or on your lap, free-roaming pets in vehicles can be dangerous or even fatal in the event of an accident.
They can be thrown around or ejected, which can seriously injure or kill the animal as well as the people inside the car.
To help keep people and pets safe:
- Use a kennel or crate
- Use a safety harness fastened to a seatbelt buckle in the back seat
- Don’t secure your pet by the neck or collar to a seatbelt
- Don’t let your pet stick its head or legs out the window – debris, wind and sudden stops can all cause serious injury
Check out the Calgary Traffic Tips booklet for the information you need to become more knowledgeable, safe and confident when moving around Calgary streets and sidewalks.