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Seatbelt Tickets – What You Need to Know

Traffic Tickets
Jason Baxter

COVID-19 UPDATE: X-COPPER will remain OPEN to the public via telephone and email during the Provincial Court closure period. X-COPPER is practicing social distancing and we are not currently open to the public for personal (face to face) consultations.

Seatbelt tickets can seem more unfair than most traffic tickets. After all, your vehicle has all sorts of safety features to protect you, including air bags, impact beams, crumple zones, and many more. So why do you need to be strapped in too?

The slogan that ‘seat belts saves lives’ is literally true.  While only 7% of Canadian drivers don’t wear seat belts, those 7% account for 40% of all deaths in vehicle collisions.

Reasons for Receiving a Seat Belt Ticket

Many drivers are surprised when they receive a seatbelt ticket even though they were buckled up. As outlined in section 106 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, drivers may be charged with seatbelt violations for a number of reasons in addition to failing to wear a seatbelt.

  • The seatbelt isn’t worn properly
  • Drivers must ensure that all passengers under 16 years of age wear a seatbelt and do so properly
  • Passengers 16 and over must always wear a seatbelt and may be charged with a seat belt violation if they don’t.
  • Seat belts can’t be removed ort altered from a vehicle

Novice drivers, those still under the graduated licensing rules for Ontario, must meet additional requirements.

  • Only carrying as many passengers as the vehicle has seatbelts for
  • Only passenger can be under 19 years of age

Penalties for Being Convicted of a Seat Belt Ticket

As with all traffic tickets, the fine you get for being convicted is just one of the penalties and consequences you may suffer.

  1. Two demerit points that remain on your driving record for two years
  2. Fines that start at $200 for the first conviction and go up to $1,000 for subsequent convictions
  3. Potential car insurance rate increases for
  4. You can also be fined and get demerit points for having a broken seatbelt, even if it isn’t being used

To learn more about how demerit points work, check out our article ‘Understanding the Demerit Point System in Ontario‘.

 

 

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