Published June 30 2020
With summer now in full swing the Ontario Provincial Police is sharing important facts and data about safety equipment that saves lives and reduces injuries on and off the road.
A PFD close by is not close enough
A personal floatation device is inarguably the most under-utilized piece of safety equipment in seasonal outdoor recreation. More than 80 per cent of people who die on OPP-patrolled waterways are found not wearing a PFD.
It does not suffice to have a PFD close by. With falling overboard and capsized vessels leading causes in boating deaths the only safe PFD is the one you are wearing. Seven of the eight boating fatality victims this year were found not wearing a PFD. Half of the victims were in canoes – an important reminder that paddlers are at risk as much as other boaters.
Use your head wear your helmet
Of the six fatal off-road vehicle (ORV) incidents investigated by the OPP this year three of the deceased were found not wearing a helmet. With losing control being a top contributing factor in ORV fatalities wearing a helmet can provide crucial protection if you crash tip over or fall off your ORV.
A helmet is equally important for cyclists. Every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet. For youths and children under 16 years of age a parent or guardian must ensure their child wears a helmet every time they ride their bicycle.
The many ways a seat belt keeps you safe
Lack of seat belt use has been linked to 20 OPP-investigated road fatalities so far this year. Drivers and passengers are reminded that preventing ejection is not the only way a seat belt can save your life during a collision.
A seat belt holds you in the position where you receive the greatest benefit from your airbag. Wearing a seat belt also reduces the risk that you’ll be thrown around in the vehicle and injure yourself by colliding with hard objects. You also risk colliding with other occupants and endangering their lives even those who did do the right thing by buckling up.
During Canada Day Week (June 27 – July 5) the OPP is conducting a traffic safety campaign aimed at ensuring people using our roads waterways and trails are making full use of lifesaving equipment and keeping themselves safe through other positive behaviours.
Throughout the campaign the OPP will also target alcohol/drug-impaired drivers inattentive and aggressive drivers on and off the road throughout the province.
Submitted by Haliburton Highlands OPP