Transport Canada makes rear seat shoulder straps mandatory

Government officials in Canada recently made a vehicle safety-related announcement that will almost certainly garner the attention of motorists and local car insurance policyholders.

Denis Lebel, minister of the department of transport, infrastructure and communities, recently announced that manufacturers will need to ensure that seatbelts are used more liberally in the production of their vehicles. Moving forward, all vehicles in Canada will need to have a shoulder belt in addition to the lap belt for anyone who’s riding in the center of the rear seat.

Lebel noted that Canada’s history of seatbelt use has consistently been strong and that nothing matters more to the country’s leadership as their well-being when on the road.

“Ensuring the safety of Canadian families is very important to our government,” said Lebel. “Making shoulder belts mandatory in the rear center seat will reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

Leona Aglukkaq, minister of health, added that the regulations that are already in place are among the safest in the world. These tougher standards will only improve the protection of motorists who are commuting in the country.

In addition to the lap and shoulder belt requirements, cars will need to go through a more rigorous set of tests in order to establish that the people traveling in them are as safe as possible. For example, Transport Canada notes that heightened standards will be applied with respect to air bags so that they deploy effectively and the speed with which vehicles are crash tested will be increased. Raising the rate of speed of vehicles will help manufacturers determine what additional steps may need to be taken to ensure that people who are in these vehicles at the time of a crash aren’t seriously hurt.

AIAMC applauds Transport Canada
David Adams, president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada, noted he’s in full support of the more rigorous testing procedures and regulations.

“The government is to be commended for its commitment to ensuring that Canada’s regulatory framework keeps pace with industry safety practices and technologies for the benefit of Canadians, and for their commitment to aligning Canadian safety regulations with major global standards,” said Adams.

These rules will not go into effect until September 2015, giving manufacturers plenty of time to make the necessary changes.

Officials are hopeful that the heightened regulations will result in fewer fatalities, including those who are involved in an accident due to someone who may have been drinking prior to getting behind the wheel.

MADD Canada has been at the forefront of this issue for years and is currently conducting a countrywide school assembly program teaching children about the dangers of mixing alcohol with motor vehicle operation.

Denise Dubyk, MADD Canada president, notes that alcohol is a factor in nearly half of all crashes that involve the death of a young driver.

“Reaching out to students and youth is crucial to our mission to stop impaired driving because those age groups are at such increased risk,” said Dubyk.