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More than 5,500 charges laid during OPP spring seatbelt blitz

Officers with the Ontario Provincial Police say they were shocked by the number of charges handed out during their spring seatbelt campaign.

OPP sergeant Dave Woodford says more than 5,500 seatbelt charges were given out on OPP patrolled roads.

“I looked at the numbers leading up to the campaign, and there were only 3,000 charges up to the end of March, and then the campaign came on in April and over 5,500 charges in a week,” Woodford said.

“People still aren’t getting the message that you have to wear your seatbelts,” Woodford said. “The legislation has been in place for over thirty-five years, you would think it would just be habit by now.”

As for why, Woodford said he hears a lot of different excuses.

“They forget, or a lot of them are passengers in vehicles and they’re not putting them on, a lot of people don’t realize it may not be their driving that causes a collision, but they’re involved in a collision, next thing you know you could be ejected,” Woodford said.

The seatbelt crackdown started April 14 and wrapped up at midnight Sunday night.

Another campaign is planned for sometime in the fall.