In the last week of the OPP’s fall seat belt campaign a total of five people died as a result of not buckling up, just as seat belt related deaths were headed for a record low.
In a news release on Friday, OPP detailed a rash of four fatal collisions that happened during one week of their Fall Seatbelt Campaign, Sept. 24 to Oct. 10.
Officials say four of the five victims were ejected from their vehicles, including one incident where both the driver and passenger were expelled and killed, neither wearing seatbelts.
After posting news of the tragic deaths on their corporate Facebook page, police say the feedback was even more concerning:
“…that was their choice to not be wearing it…you should have the freedom to choose if you want to wear it or not…”
“…you don’t have to wear a seat belt because it is a victimless crime…”
“…did the investigations determine that if a seat belt was used, lives would have been 100% saved?”
“On one hand, we believe most people understand the important role that seatbelts play in saving lives. On the other hand, it is troubling to see others defend their choice to not wear one and still cast doubt on the proven impact seat belts have on saving people’s lives in collisions,” said OPP Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox in a statement.
The OPP had thought they were on the way to the lowest number of seatbelt-related deaths in over a decade, Ontario roadways had seen only 32 seatbelt-related fatalities in 2014, that number is now 44.
The lowest number of seatbelt-related deaths was in 2009, which had 68 deaths, according to the OPP.