New Brunswick

More people without seatbelts dying in car crashes, RCMP say

The number of crash victims who weren't wearing seatbelts and died of their injuries increased last year, according to a New Brunswick RCMP report.

Report shows 26.67 per cent increase in fatalities last year

Tickets issued for failing to wear a seatbelt also increased by 25.9 per cent, to 807 from 641. (TuiPhotoEngineer/Shutterstock)

The number of crash victims who weren't wearing seatbelts and died of their injuries increased last year, according to a New Brunswick RCMP report.

In 2018, there were 19 fatalities in crashes in which people were unrestrained, compared with 15 the year before, the force said in its annual report for 2018, released this month.

This represents a 26.67 per cent increase in the number of unrestrained people who died in crashes in areas covered by the New Brunswick RCMP. 

Tickets issued for failing to wear a seatbelt increased 25.9 per cent, to 807 from 641.

RCMP spokesperson Julie Rogers-Marsh said the increases are concerning.

"It's something that's absolutely preventable," said Rogers-Marsh. 

"We all have a role to play when it comes to reducing the number of serious and fatal crashes on our roadways."

Rogers-Marsh said the force isn't sure why the number of fatalities involving unrestrained people went up or whether this  is a greater issue in some areas of the province than others.

She said the force is working on pulling over more vehicles to check that occupants are wearing seatbelts. 

"It's something that we do all the time, pulling vehicles over is part of our day-to-day work," said Rogers-Marsh.

In 2018, the RCMP checked 364,000 vehicles and issued more than 18,000 tickets.

The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $172.50 and two demerit points on a driver's licence.

With files from Information Morning Fredericton

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