When my son was born, I put one of those yellow “Baby on Board” signs in the back window of my car. I suppose it gave me a small amount of hope that if the person in the car behind me saw it, they would not tail gate. 10 years later, the yellow sign is long gone, but I continue to rely on the safety features my vehicle provides. I always made sure my son was buckled up, but when he turned 8 and graduated from car seat to just a seat belt, I decided to entrust him with the responsibility of getting his own seat belt on. He won’t let me back out of the drive way until he has done so. That’s a request I can’t argue with.

It is surprising to learn that car crashes are the number one cause of death for Canadian children. Car seat clinics indicate that many car seats are not installed correctly. A properly installed booster seat or child seat can reduce the chance of injury of death by 75%.

Children under the age of 13 are safest in the back seat away from air bags. Whether it is a booster seat, child car seat or seat belt, all drivers, including babysitters and grandparents, are responsible for ensuring passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured. Drivers who fail to ensure that children in their vehicle are properly secured in a seat belt or child car seat could be charged and face a fine totalling $240 and two demerit points. Moving violations, including seatbelt infractions, will affect your insurance rates.

Avoid tickets, increased insurance costs and most importantly, reduce the chance of serious injury by staying safe and buckling up.