Something as simple as a seatbelt can raise a lot of questions and concerns when it comes to driving. It is the law across Canada to wear these. The confusion arises when there is a seatbelt infraction. Also, as to what the penalty will be. Another significant concern is whether an infraction will affect the vehicle insurance.
Types of Seatbelt Infractions
A lot of drivers just assume that there is only one infraction with a seat belt. That is simply not wearing one when the vehicle is in motion. There are more infractions than this which are…
- Driver not wearing the seatbelt.
- Passenger not wearing the seatbelt.
- Not making sure that passengers under the age of sixteen are wearing their seatbelts.
- Passengers in the vehicle who are not occupying a seat that’s equipped with a seatbelt.
- Not making sure that a child or toddler is secured properly with a seatbelt.
The seat belts usage includes the seatbelt being operative. Just holding the seatbelt across oneself is not correct. It is a potentially life-saving device.
Are There Exceptions to the Seatbelt Rule?
There are a few exceptions to the rules of wearing a seatbelt. If the vehicles is in reverse there are no seatbelt requirements. Some individuals have medical conditions that the wearing of a seatbelt could interfere with. In these cases, the individual must have a certificate stating this from a health care provider such as a doctor. Quite often people drive vehicles where they have to constantly get in and out of the vehicle. For example, post office delivery personnel. Those who are delivering mail or packages to locations near each other. The rule is that these vehicles cannot be traveling at 40km/hour.
What are the Penalties for Seatbelt Infractions?
The penalties will depend on the province and may depend on the specific infraction. In general, the fines could be anywhere between $200 to $1,000. Plus in some provinces, it could mean a loss of a specific number of demerit points. It can also show on the driving history and stay on the record for two years.
Will A Seatbelt Charge Affect My Insurance?
Two important things to keep in mind when it comes to vehicle Insurance. These companies will use statistics to assist them in determining premiums. The other thing they will use is information about the driver. It will include their driving history. Looking at these two items will give a good indication. It will help to determine if a seat belt infraction will affect the insurance.
About the Driver:
One item that is important when it comes to the driver is their driver history. It contains all kinds of information. It will list most driving infractions that the driver has. A seatbelt infraction will show on this record.
The next question is how much emphasis is put on this type of infraction? Insurance companies tend to view driving infractions as major and minor. It helps them to determine the degree of importance of it when determining the premiums.
Every insurance company has the flexibility of determining what is important to them. Also, to what degree. It means that these companies will view the seatbelt infraction differently. Therefore the increase in premiums based on this violation can vary among the companies. However, most likely it will have some negative bearing on the premiums. It may be no matter which Insurance company is offering them. So, yes a seatbelt violation could affect the insurance.
However, if the seatbelt violation were not showing on the driving history, then it would not have any effect on the insurance. If it is an adult passenger in the vehicle that’s charged it won’t affect the driver’s record.
As mentioned statistics are of interest to most something else Insurance Companies. One of these may be the statistics for a specific area and what the stats show about seatbelt violations. For example, there are different types of statistics available to them. If a driver falls into any of the categories below and already has a seatbelt infraction, these stats may be a factor in premium increases.
- The national average for seatbelt usage is 95.3%. However, for pickup drivers, the usage is reduced to 92%.
- On average 95.5% of the passengers in the front seat use their seatbelts. Backseat passengers are at 89.2%.
- For women, the stats show that 96% of them wear their seatbelts. For men, the stats show its 94.3%.
- Urban area drivers on a 92% average wear their seatbelts. Whereas urban drivers are at 95.8%
While these are relatively old statistics dating back to 2011 from a past survey they still show a trend. Trends could rely on insurance companies. They could rely on when determining the cost of insurance for an individual
Being Vehicle Insurance Savvy
Being vehicle insurance savvy means how to shop effectively for insurance. Also, it means knowing all the factors that are going to help keep your insurance premiums low. Especially when first signing up for it. Plus, it means thinking about discounts for the future.
A prime example is looking at the seatbelt infraction. Looking at how it could affect your insurance in the future. Maybe that two demerit point accumulation for your seatbelt infraction is still considered minor. As it pertains to the way, an Insurance company looks at it. However, if you get a second one now, you have accumulated four demerit points. They soon add up.
If other violations occur, these too could affect your demerit accumulation. Once you get into the 9 to 14 range, you could have your licence suspended. Insurance companies will most likely look at a license suspension much more seriously. There is every possibility that they wouldn’t consider the seatbelt infractions as being minor. They would look at the result. The result for them could be higher insurance premiums. Paying attention to all of the factors that Insurance companies take into account can help to get a better insurance rate. It can also lead to discounts in the future.
Over and above everything else seatbelts save lives. Proper use of them is the responsibility of the driver.