Information Bulletin - Seat Belts


March 9, 2007

Stay safe -- buckle up, says the Alberta government

Avoid costly fines by properly using seat belts

Edmonton... Using a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce the chance of injury or death in a motor vehicle collision. In Alberta, every person travelling in a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt or use a child safety seat. The penalty for seat belt infractions is a fine of $115.

Drivers must ensure that passengers under the age of 16 are buckled up. Young children under six years of age and 18 kilograms or less must travel in the appropriate child safety seats. If a child is not correctly restrained the driver is responsible for paying the appropriate fine.

Proper use of seat belts

  • A typical seat belt consists of a lap and shoulder belt. The shoulder belt should be worn closely against the body, over the shoulder and across the chest, never under the arm or behind the back. The lap belt should be firm against the body and low across the hips.
  • A seat belt should not be worn twisted, as the full width of the belt is required to spread motor vehicle collision forces across the body.
  • While a child can start using a seatbelt alone once he/she is six years old or weighs over 18 kilograms it is recommended that the child be in a booster seat until they turn nine or reach a weight of 37 kilograms.
  • Air bags do not replace a seat belt. They do not prevent drivers and passengers from being thrown from the car.

Pregnant women must wear seat belts
Pregnant women must wear the lap and shoulder belt properly by sitting as upright as possible. The lap belt should be worn low so it pulls downward on the pelvic bones and not directly against the abdomen.

For more information about traffic safety, contact the Traffic Safety Office at (780) 422-8839 or visit http://www.saferoads.com/.

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Media enquiries may be directed to:

Jeanette Espie
Office of Traffic Safety
Alberta Transportation
(780) 427-6588
jeanette.espie@gov.ab.ca
Eileen McDonald
Communications
Alberta Transportation
(780) 422-0842: cell: 780-913-4609
eileen.mcdonald@gov.ab.ca

To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000.