On average, 31 people are killed yearly in Manitoba because they did not use their seatbelt, according to police reported data which encompassed the years 2005 to 2009. In total, 156 people were killed and another 325 seriously injured over the five-year span.

In September 2009, Transport Canada conducted an observational survey of seat belt use in rural communities across Canada. Then, in September 2010, the same survey was conducted in urban communities. The two observational surveys involved 97,117 vehicles and 129,371 occupants across 538 sites.

The study reported that Manitoba has an overall seatbelt usage rate of 93.8 ─ a sixth-place ranking in Canada. British Columbia, at 96.9, has the highest seatbelt usage rate in Canada. Yukon has the worst at 78.1.

In efforts to raise awareness about the importance of buckling up, Manitoba’s police agencies will be conducting dedicated, seatbelt enforcement campaigns during the month of March. The ticket for not wearing a seatbelt is $292.65, in addition to dropping two levels in Manitoba Public Insurance’s Driver Safety Rating.

According to Transport Canada’s study, there was a wearing rate of 94.5 percent in urban Manitoba communities (2010) and 90.7 percent in rural communities (2009) for a combined rate of 93.8 percent. This is an improvement from the last study conducted in 2006 (rural) and 2007 (urban) which reported Manitoba’s usage rate at 86.9 and 89.7 percent, respectively.

Highlites of the Transport Canada Observational Study

  • Throughout Canada, seatbelt wearing rates in pick-up trucks are lower than passenger cars, mini vans and SUV’s.
  • Males buckle up less than than females.
  • Back seat occupants don’t use their seatbelt as much as front-seat occupants.

Image The Seatbelt of Death Originally uploaded by Simmy.