Taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 60 km/h

Taxi drivers in B.C., who were previously allowed to keep their seatbelt unbuckled when driving under a specific speed, are now required to buckle up, along with every other driver in the province.

The change stems from a repeal in September to B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act, announced on Friday in a news release from the North Vancouver RCMP.

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Prior to the repeal, cab drivers were exempt from using a seatbelt when driving under 60 km/h. The exemption was noted under Section 32.02 of the Motor Vehicle Act.

As of Sept. 15, anyone caught driving without their seatbelt buckled may be levied a $167 fine.

“Thankfully this closes one more door on a past that was blind to the simple fact that seatbelts save lives,” Sgt. Peter DeVries said.

For the rest of B.C., seatbelts have been mandatory since 1977. Drivers or passengers older than 16 years old caught without wearing one face the same $167 fine.

According to ICBC, when travelling at 55 km/h, a person not wearing a seatbelt in a crash has the same experience as falling from a three-storey building. In 2012, the latest crash data made available by the insurance corporation, 46 people died in a car accident due to not wearing a seatbelt or being buckled properly in a booster seat.

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