Seat Belt and Window Tint Awareness


The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service recognizes April as Seat Belt Awareness Month. This year we also want to remind vehicle owners about the regulations around the amount of tint permitted on vehicle windows.

Traffic Sergeant Ray Magnan says “Wearing a seat belt properly is proven to be the most effective way to reduce the chance of injury or death while travelling in a motor vehicle. We are committed to maintain and improve road safety for everyone in Sault Ste. Marie and Prince Township. To accomplish that goal we will continue to promote and enforce seat belt safety and education.”

Over the last five years, officers issued 282 Highway Traffic Act tickets for seat belt violations.

Some points to remember:

  • Seat belts must be in proper working condition
  • A seat belt won’t protect you if it is not worn properly. Take a few moments to position the lap portion of your seat belt snug to your body and low on the hips. Never wear the shoulder strap under the arm because it could damage your ribs.
  • A seat belt keeps the driver behind the wheel and in control in a collision. It helps to keep your head and body from hitting the inside of the vehicle.
  • A seat belt keeps you inside the vehicle during a collision, rather than potentially being thrown through a windshield or door onto the roadway
  • Without a seat belt, passengers become high speed projectiles in a collision

Motorists and passengers found to be in violation of the Highway Traffic Act could be charged and face a fine of $240, with drivers also receiving two demerit points. Drivers are also responsible to ensure passengers 16 years of age or younger are properly wearing their seat belt.

During a roadside seat belt check officers will be looking for seat belt compliance as well as if the safety harness is worn properly. In order to ensure you’re wearing a seat belt properly, they shall be worn so;

  • The pelvic restrain is worn firmly against the body and across the hips;
  • The torso restraint, if there is one, is worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest;
  • The pelvic restraint, and the torso restraint, if there is one, are securely fastened; and
  • No more than one person is wearing the seat belt at any time.

We also want to remind motorist there are restrictions on the amount of tint you are able to have installed on your vehicle. Any vehicle manufactured after January 1, 2017 cannot have any aftermarket tint on the windows immediately to the left and right of the driver that blocks more than 30% of light from entering through the window. It is important to know that back window tint is allowed, and may block a much higher percentage of light than front windows.

Improper window tinting does pose a public safety risk. Having dark windows, especially at night reduces a driver’s ability to see other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Dark window tinting can also hide activity taking place inside a vehicle such as improper seat belt use and distracted driving. It can also obstruct the identity of a driver, including cases where a driver passes a stopped school bus with its lights flashing. Criminal activity can also be hidden from site as a result of tinting, including drug use and alcohol use in a vehicle.

If you are found to have tint greater than the allowable amount under the Highway Traffic Act you could face a fine of $110.

Over the last five years, officers issued 130 Highway Traffic Act tickets for seat belt violations.

By following these recommendations, you will greatly reduce the chances you are in a motor vehicle collision or someone you know will be injured or killed if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision.