Islanders are not buckling up, survey finds

  • Aug. 29, 2005 8:00 p.m.

An informal ICBC review of seatbelt use in Masset and Queen Charlotte found that islanders aren’t buckling up, Heather Ramsay writes.
Dave Dickson, ICBC’s regional manager for Road Safety in northern BC found Queen Charlotte residents only complied with the seatbelt laws 63-percent of the time.
“This is far too low. People have to start wearing their seatbelts,” says Mr. Dickson.
He parked his car across from Lam’s Restaurant one day and watched as cars drove by with children and babies not buckled up.
He saw children standing up looking out the windows in some vehicles, a potential tragic accident in the making.
“If the parents had to slam on the brakes for a dog, the child could receive a serious injury,” he said.
Masset fared better, but at a 75-percent compliance, drivers there are still below the average across the north at 88-percent.
Sergeant Jim Vardy of the Masset RCMP says he is hoping for a 95-percent compliance rate and he is willing to beef up enforcement to get there.
He intends to set up more seatbelt check stops and other random enforcement events.
“We don’t want to be ticket writers, but we do want people to abide by the law,” he says.
The fine for failing to wear a seatbelt is $138.