Friday, March 5, 2010

Occupant restraint road show comes to Calgary

Using a new vehicle rollover simulator, The Calgary Police Service showed the public at Olympic Plaza today, how important seatbelts are and how they save lives.

“It’s very real,’ said Jim Lebedeff, a constable with the Calgary Police Traffic Unit. “In an accident, the safest and best place to be is belted – and belted properly – in the vehicle.”

The rollover simulator demonstrates what happens to a person if they are not wearing a seatbelt in a rollover collision and how they are often thrown from their vehicle and crushed.

The poignant visual reminder is an effort to raise seatbelt awareness during Occupant Awareness Month.

Lebedeff said it’s a shame that with all the education, people still refuse to buckle-up and that the way vehicles are designed today “most people would survive the average crash if wearing a seatbelt.”

Occupant restraint facts:
  • Research and collision investigations show that your chances of surviving a collision increase by 50 per cent when wearing an occupant restraint.
  • According to Transport Canada, almost 40 per cent of drivers and passengers killed in a collision were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the collision.
  • The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $115. Drivers are also responsible for any passengers under 16.
  • Seatbelts save about 1,000 lives per year in Canada.
  • Airbags only function properly when used with an occupant restraint. If you are not buckled-up properly, the airbag will likely cause an injury.
  • In a collision, an unrestrained occupant increases the risk for all occupants in the vehicle.
  • Vehicles are designed with an engineered life space which can withstand the force of most impacts. Seatbelts keep occupants in this space where they are safest.
  • In Alberta, use of occupant restraints has increased from 88.9 per cent in 2007, to 92.9 per cent in 2009.
***Vehicle rollover simulator flings an occupant out of the truck's cab.
***Jim Lebedeff with a vehicle thats occupant died as a result of not buckling-up.

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