Seat Belt-Related Deaths decline – But One Death is too Many

Apr 11, 2017 @ 09:12

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reporting a 20-year low and a steady decrease in seat belt-related deaths as they get set to conduct their Seat Belt Campaign over the Easter Long Weekend.


A total of 45 seat belt-related road fatalities occurred on OPP-patrolled roads in 2016, marking the lowest number on record in the last 20 years. Also notable over the 20-year period is the number dipping below the 50 mark for the first time in 2015 and 2016  (see data below).


The OPP attributes the downward trend, in part, to its Provincial Traffic Safety Program (PTSP). The PTSP is a proactive, high visibility approach to traffic safety enforcement and education that focuses on lack of seat belt use and other high-risk behaviours that account for the majority of OPP-investigated deaths on roads, waterways and trails.


Since its implementation in 2007, PTSP has contributed to significantly fewer traffic fatalities overall. While seat belt-related fatalities have proportionately decreased through the success of the PTSP, unbuckled vehicle occupants continue to lose their lives, keeping seat belt education and enforcement a traffic safety priority for the OPP.


“The evidence that supports the effectiveness of seat belt use remains irrefutable. The odds of surviving or avoiding serious injuries in a collision are stacked against those who are not restrained in their seat. In exchange for the few seconds it takes to buckle up, you can cross this risk off the checklist of things that threaten your life on the road.” – OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety & Operational Support.


“It only takes a moment to buckle up and it can save your life, or the life of your loved one. I commend the OPP for undertaking Seat Belt Campaigns. They are an important reminder that helps keep our roads safe. Please help prevent unnecessary tragedy by making sure everyone in a vehicle with you is safely buckled.” -Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services-


Over the Easter Long Weekend, road users can expect to see high police visibility as the OPP carries out its April 14-17, 2017 Seat Belt Campaign. Officers hope to see all drivers and passengers buckled up as well as children safely restrained.


SEAT BELT-RELATED FATALTIES (last 20 years, OPP-patrolled roads only)

2016 – 45                                              2006 – 93

2015 – 46                                              2005- 110

2014 – 51                                             2004 – 112

2013 – 67                                              2003- 122

2012-78                                               2002 – 114

2011- 68                                              2001 – 150

2010 – 88                                             2000 – 152

2009 – 65                                              1999 – 150

2008- 76                                             1998 – 151

2007 – 109                                          1997 – 168


  • The OPP Provincial Traffic Safety Program focuses on lack of occupant restraint, distracted, impaired and aggressive driving (known as the Big Four), with the aim of reducing deaths and injuries on OPP-patrolled highways, trails and waterways.

About the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) - The Ontario Provincial Police is one of North America's largest deployed police services with more than 6,200 uniformed officers, 3,100 civilian employees and 800 Auxiliary officers. They provide essential services that ensure the safety and security of the people of the Province of Ontario.

Brenda Stockton
Latest posts by Brenda Stockton (see all)