OPP cracking down on seat belt use over Easter weekend

  Provincial police are conducting a seat belt blitz over the Easter weekend.

OPP officers have laid 257,475 seat belt charges over the last 10 years, with 25 to 34 year-olds being issued more charges (63,846) than any other demographic.

Drivers and passengers aged 35 to 44 come in second with 50,863 charges and 45 to 54 year-olds are right behind with 50,488 charges.

"Last year ended tragically for 49 people who died after being involved in collisions and were not safely buckled in at the time,” says OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

“Failure to wear or properly wear a seat belt has contributed to 639 deaths on OPP-patrolled roads in the last 10 years. As a driver or passenger, it's important to respect the lifesaving value of a seat belt and the proven fact that the best position to be in during a crash is securely fastened in your seat."

Transport Canada says seat belts worn correctly can reduce the chances of death and serious injuries in a collision by approximately 50 per cent.