Ontario: Seat Belt Exemption Laws

Update: see previous post – October 14, 2015 Ontario Seatbelt Laws

Under section 106 of the Highway Traffic Act all occupants of a vehicle must be wearing their seatbelts, with a few exceptions. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for themselves and anyone under the age of 16. If an occupant is not properly wearing their seatbelt, the driver and all occupants over 16 years of age, can receive a ticket with a fine between $200 and $1000 and two (2) demerit points for a period of two (2) years, if convicted. This law has been on the books in Ontario for over 39 years (coming into effect on January 1, 1976). Ontario was the first Province to enact this law.
Under section 106 of the Highway Traffic Act all occupants of a vehicle must be wearing their seatbelts, with a few exceptions (see section 106 (6 a-c) ). The driver of the vehicle is responsible for themselves and anyone under the age of 16. If an occupant is not properly wearing their seatbelt, the driver and all occupants over 16 years of age, can receive a ticket with a fine between $200 and $1000 and two (2) demerit points for a period of two (2) years, if convicted. This law has been on the books in Ontario for over 40 years (coming into effect on January 1, 1976). Ontario was the first Province to enact this law.

see source

If you can’t wear a seatbelt for medical reasons, then you should be carrying a medical certificate from a doctor (this is a prescription pad, that many doctor’s use to write a doctor’s note). If for medical reasons (could include claustrophobia (fear of restraint or being closed in), size of individual, surgery, shoulder-back-stomach injuries, etc.,etc.) you cannot wear a seatbelt with the shoulder strap, Section 106 (6) (see below) outlines what is necessary, to have an exception to the requirement of having to wear a seatbelt. It must be a medical certificate from a legally qualified medical practioner (hopefully it contains legal letterhead). The certificate should state the length of time the person cannot wear a seatbelt due to medical reasons. If it is a permanent condition, then the certificate should state this.  Any motorist who decides to drive without a seatbelt, should carry this medical certificate with them in their vehicle or their wallet or purse – to show to any police officer may pull them over to provide them with a seatbelt ticket.

Seat  Belts

Seat belt assembly must not be removed or altered

106. (1) No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle in which a seat belt assembly required under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada) at the time that the vehicle was manufactured or imported into Canada has been removed, rendered partly or wholly inoperative, modified so as to reduce its effectiveness or is not operating properly through lack of maintenance.  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

Use of seat belt assembly by driver

(2) Every person who drives on a highway a motor vehicle in which a seat belt assembly is provided for the driver shall wear the complete seat belt assembly as required by subsection (5).  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

Use of seat belt assembly by passenger

(3) Every person who is at least 16 years old and is a passenger in a motor vehicle on a highway shall,

(a) occupy a seating position for which a seat belt assembly has been provided; and

(b) wear the complete seat belt assembly as required by subsection (5).  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

Driver to ensure young passenger uses seat belt assembly

(4) No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle in which there is a passenger who is under 16 years old unless,

(a) that passenger,

(i) occupies a seating position for which a seat belt assembly has been provided, and

(ii) is wearing the complete seat belt assembly as required by subsection (5); or

(b) that passenger is required by the regulations to be secured by a child seating system or child restraint system, and is so secured.  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

How to wear seat belt assembly

(5) A seat belt assembly shall be worn so that,

(a) the pelvic restraint is worn firmly against the body and across the hips;

(b) the torso restraint, if there is one, is worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest;

(c) the pelvic restraint, and the torso restraint, if there is one, are securely fastened; and

(d) no more than one person is wearing the seat belt assembly at any one time.  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

Exception

(6) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to a person,

(a) who is driving a motor vehicle in reverse;

(b) who holds a certificate signed by a legally qualified medical practitioner certifying that the person is,

(i) for the period stated in the certificate, unable for medical reasons to wear a seat belt assembly, or

(ii) because of the person’s size, build or other physical characteristic, unable to wear a seat belt assembly; or

(c) who is actually engaged in work which requires him or her to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals and the motor vehicle does not travel at a speed exceeding 40 kilometres per hour. 

You are required by law to wear your seatbelt whenever you are in your vehicle. In fact, everyone in the vehicle must be wearing a seatbelt, and the driver can be held responsible for passengers under the age of 16. Although seatbelt use has increased in Canada since the laws were put in place, it remains one of the most common traffic tickets.

 

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