Ontario Provincial Police are cracking down on drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts on this, the first long weekend of spring – and a four-day weekend to boot.

Const. Michelle Simard can recite the potential penalty if you’re caught not wearing a seatbelt, or have a child car seat that’s not properly secured.  But she says that’s not the point.

“I can speak from experience.  I was in a collision and a seatbelt actually saved my life.  So for me, from a personal point of view, anybody gets into my vehicle, I ensure that they’re buckled, that they’re buckled properly, because I know they work.”

Last year alone in our region on roads patrolled by the OPP, four people were killed in car accidents because they weren’t belted in.

In Simard’s incident, she was once driving a sub-compact car that was totalled when it collided with a tractor-trailer.  She says if you are in a collision, you’ll come out of it feeling sore.

“You’ll definitely be sore across the chest from your seatbelt,” she relates, “but at the end of the day, you’re alive and you’re able to tell the story, so that’s good.”