Wear Your Seat Belt Properly

SeatbeltWe all know that the law requires that we wear our seat belts when driving. The Motor Vehicle Act says in part "..wear the complete seat belt assembly in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner." Why should we worry, and how do we know what is proper?

During a collision where the occupant is wearing the seat belt properly the hips may move ahead as much as six inches, the chest eight to nine inches and the head twenty inches. You will strike anything within those distances. Wearing a seat belt improperly can actually contribute to injury especially in the case where the shoulder belt is worn under the arm.

The proper use of seat belts can double the effectiveness of airbags in minimizing injury.

Your vehicle's owners manual is the best place to learn about how to wear your seat belt properly. It will explain how to fasten and adjust the belt to maximize both comfort and protection. It will also contain information on the correct use of child restraints.

Some examples of what NOT to do with a seat belt: wear the shoulder belt under your arm, continue to use a frayed or broken belt, put more than one child in a single seat belt, using a seat belt if it is twisted and any "do it yourself" webbing repair.

Almost all passenger car and pickup truck drivers in BC wear seatbelts and I suspect that most of their passengers do too.

This may not be the case with other types of vehicles such as buses. An article in the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper today reported on a bus crash that occurred on the Bamfield Road on September 13, 2019 while transporting University of Victoria students to a research facility there.

Sgt. Brian Nightingale, an RCMP Collision Reconstruction expert was quoted:

β€œHad they been worn, the fatal injuries would likely not have occurred,” said Nightingale, β€œand the injuries would have considerably reduced.” Several people were hurt when they were tossed around inside the bus as it slid off the road.

The bus company involved had chosen to retrofit their vehicle with seatbelts because it had been manufactured without them according to Transport Canada.

Some forms of public transit do not require seatbelts such as school buses and city transit buses. Transport Canada does recognize that seatbelts can provided added protection for students on school buses. However, the implementation has been left up to the province, school board or bus operator.

If they do choose to install seatbelts Transport Canada does regulate how they are to be installed.

Municipal transit buses allow passengers to stand and that is provided for in exemptions set out in Div. 39.03 MVAR. There are limits to the number of standing bus riders depending on the vehicle's age and the equipment provided by the manufacturer for them.

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So many bus crashes with serious consequences. What has been the reluctance of Government to act on the obvious? Seat belts have been mandatory since the 60’s in cars.Badly worn would be better than nothing.

I will try to keep this short and sweet as you have touched on a topic that bothers me greatly.

As far as I am concerned Transport Canada has been run by a bunch of retarded idiots for decades.

Regarding seatbelt use in school buses they contradict everything they tell us that wearing seatbelts is good for. Keeping you in the vehicle. They caved to the industry and said high back padded seats were all that was required for school buses. Just how they came up with the report they did is beyond comprehension. I think someone paid a few bucks to get this piece of garbage published. No one with a brain in their head would have.

The report which they conducted back in the 1980's which has been used throughout North America only tested vehicles that remained upright and were involved in a head-on collision. It never looked at crashes that were side impact or roll overs. Ever since the 1950's when they were campaigning to get people to wear seatbelts one of the main items always mentioned is they keep you inside the vehicle which is the safest place. But the idiots put out a report saying it is fine to load your kids into a tincan and let them fly about if it is involved in an accident.

Even before this report was published if they would have looked at statistics on school bus accidents they would have seen that head-on collisions was not the main accident they were involved in.

School buses need seatbelts and not tomorrow but today. This is child abuse and should be treated as such. Charge the people that issued the report.