For the month of March, Alberta RCMP are educating residents on seatbelts and occupant restraints.

According to a release from Alberta RCMP, 9568 tickets were issued for occupant restraint offences in 2018.

Peter Stapley with Okotoks Municipal Enforcement says wearing a seatbelt improperly is not only illegal, but can actually cause injury.

"When it comes to the laws, you actually have to make sure you wear your seatbelt properly. It has to be properly across your hip bones and at the shoulder; you can't put the shoulder belt underneath your arm. Doing so will actually cause you to, in the event of a collision, sustain possibly fatal collision injuries from the seatbelt."

Alberta drivers are required by law to make use of a car seat for children under the age of six or under 40 lbs. They recommend booster seats for children under the age of nine who have outgrown the full car seat.

Stapley says there's a handy resource for parents who might need help installing car seats for their children.

"The Okotoks Fire Department does offer free clinics on child seat installs. The next clinic is on March 13th at the firehall on Milligan Drive. The firefighters there are willing to assist you and make sure your car seat is installed properly and correctly; all you have to do is come by with your car and car seat, they'll pull you into the bay and help you out."

According to an RCMP release, 32.7% of 2018 motor vehicle fatalities in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions involved a vehicle occupant not wearing a seatbelt.


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